Best practice: Disruptive vocalizations

Disruptive vocalizations are any verbal noises (screaming, yelling, nonsense talking, cursing) which are generally considered unusual, inappropriate or are upsetting to others. Disruptive vocalizations may be the result of a person having unmet needs and not being able to express them to staff or may be due to too much or too little sensory stimulation.

So what should you do (or not do)  when a resident is making disruptive vocalizations?

Don’t  tell the person to “stop” or that their behavior is driving people to distraction.
Do listen to what the person is saying and see if you can identify any concrete need or request in the vocalization.

Some specific things you can try:

-Check for the presence of needed sensory aids (i.e. glasses, hearing aids) and provide them if missing.
Assess for too much (loud TV in room) or too little stimulation (resident is alone) in the environment and provide interventions based on the findings.
-Sing a favorite song with the resident (people are unable to sing and scream at the same time).

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