Wellness, Independence & Quality of Life in Aging

Behaviour Support System

Originally established in 2012 through the Behaviour Supports Ontario initiative, redesign of the NSM Behaviour Support System (BSS) team began in 2017.  Redesign is focused on moving from several different resources and teams to a single integrated team.

Team Members

The BSS team supports seniors across the continuum of care, with the greatest resources being based on long-term care homes.Team members include:
  • BSS Manager
  • BSS Physician Lead (Geriatric Psychiatrist
  • Psychogeriatric Resource Consultants
  • Psychometrist and Behaviour Support Specialists
  • Registered Nurses and Registered Practice Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Unregulated health care providers eg. Personal Support Workers.

Target Population 

The BSS team serves older adults with cognitive impairment and responsive behaviours in the NSM region and their caregivers.
Of note:
  • Cognitive impairment and the associated responsive behavior(s) can be due to mental health, addictions, dementia and/or other neurological or cognitive disorders.
  • Responsive behaviours are an individual's actions, gestures and/or words in response to a real or perceived stimulus. Examples can include: hitting, kicking, rummaging, resistance to care, wandering, exit seeking, sexually responsive behaviour, etc. For more information see the BSS team's standard definitions 
  • There is no specific age limit as the process of aging may occur in any of the following five dimensions: chronological, biological, psychological, social and developmental.

Services Provided

The BSS team provides support in the assessment and management of responsive behaviours. During the assessment, the team attempts to identify the factors causing the behaviour(s) which can include underlying health conditions, factors in the environment and the approach of caregivers. Once the assessment is complete, the team works with the senior, their caregivers and health care providers to develop a plan of care to reduce or eliminate the behaviour, optimize safety, support the caregiver and improve health care outcomes.  The focus is on first trying to improve the behaviours through non-pharmacological approaches to care.  A variety of research and best practices are used by the BSS team in the care of the senior.  A key role of the BSS team also includes role-modelling and sharing information with caregivers and health care provider partners so that, together, we can improve care across the system.

How to Access the Service

Health care providers should follow the process outlined in How to Refer on this website. Members of the public should speak with their family physician.

Behaviour Supports Ontario

NSM SGS is a partner in the provincial initiative known as Behaviour Supports Ontario. For further information, please visit North Simcoe Muskoka Behaviour Supports Ontario