25. S.T.O.P Abuse Intervention

S.T.O.P. [Abuse] Intervention is a strategy to prevent abuse in the client and caregiver relationship. It guides staff on how to handle challenging situations; supports a respectful, client-centered relationship between clients and caregivers and finally promotes the appropriate use of power to ensure resident’s needs are foremost and their vulnerability is protected.

The word STOP is an acronym for:

S= STOP                  T=THINK                  O= OBSERVE                  P=PLAN


You must always stop:

  • What you are doing if there is any resistance or lack of consent from the resident you are caring for;
  • Think about your response and how your actions are impacting the resident.
  • Do you have the resident’s permission to proceed?


It is essential that you think about the residents:

  • Are they comfortable, do they have any fears?
  • Are there any factors or triggers that are contributing or influencing the situation?
  • Think, is there anyone who could help in the current situation?


Observe the resident’s reactions and response to your approach and care. Some residents have difficulties or impairment, cannot ask for help and must rely entirely on other people and caregivers to identify and meet their needs.

  • Is the resident aware of and receptive to your intentions?
  • Has the resident had sufficient time to process the conversation or instructions?
  • Another consideration is if the resident’s communication is compromised.
  • It is important that you are aware of what your own emotions are telling you.
  • Is the environment or surroundings impacting the situation?


Planning may include learning more about what individual resident’s wishes are; getting more help; organizing the care differently or talking to others and finding out what is working for them. Consideration is necessary to plan a different approach.

  • What could be done differently?
  • Is the intervention required?
  • If the resident does not understand is a different explanation needed
  • If the resident has a dementia diagnosis – is diversion or distraction needed?