Challenging behaviour refers to actions that are socially inappropriate. This can include behaviours that may be disruptive or harmful, such as self-harming, throwing objects, and kicking and hitting. These can all be challenging for caregivers.
According to a study by the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, mental health problems are experienced by between 25 and 40 percent of people with learning disabilities. This can also contribute to challenging behaviour.

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What is challenging behaviour?

Challenging behaviour, within the context of social care, is behaviour that can put individuals and those around them at risk. This can include self-harming, aggressive behaviours, non-compliance, and other forms of behaviour deemed to be disruptive. Such behaviours are often challenging for social carers.

What causes challenging behaviour?

There are several factors that can contribute to challenging behaviour; for example, communication difficulties can be a trigger. Individuals who struggle to express themselves effectively may resort to challenging behaviour as a means of getting their needs met.

In patients with cognitive impairments, such as dementia, signs of emotional distress and frustration often stem from an inability to communicate. This can manifest itself by individuals acting in challenging ways.

The environment and setting also play an important role. Unsupportive environments lacking both structure and routine can be distressing for individuals who thrive on predictability. Changes in routine and staff can also lead to behavioural difficulties, as some individuals find this highly unsettling.

Challenging behaviour training

Challenging behaviour training aims to give those working in social care the necessary strategies to effectively manage and respond to such behaviours. Training courses from providers such as offer techniques that can help to de-escalate challenging situations. By understanding the root causes of different challenging behaviours, caregivers can identify and implement preventive measures to help create a supportive environment.

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Challenging behaviour in social care can be caused by a variety of reasons. Gaining an understanding of the causes and implementing the necessary skills and techniques to manage specific triggers can be beneficial to both the caregiver and the patient.