Love Your Neighbor: Preventing Resident-to-Resident Violence
Typically, when one hears of abuse within a senior living community, the initial thought is that the conflict is between a staff member and resident. While that issue remains a problem in many communities, resident-to-resident abuse is quickly rising and needs to be addressed.
Resident-to-resident abuse is not limited to only physical altercations. In fact, there are many forms of abuse, including:
- Aggressive Physical
- Material Mistreatment
It’s unnerving to think that loved ones could possibly be subjected to many of the same ills we find within common society, however, if we don’t recognize the reality of the possibility, we’re at a disadvantage when trying to prevent it.
Bullying is not uncommon as it pertains to this type of abuse. The victims of resident-to-resident violence are often seniors who have been diagnosed with physical or cognitive limitations or impairments. These residents might be viewed as “targets” by those who consider themselves to be superior to the victim. It’s because of these deficiencies that many times abuse goes unreported.
There are strategies to help aid in the reduction of resident-to-resident violence. Senior living communities should:
- Properly assess the emotional and physiological needs of the residents
- Ensure residents with a history of aggression are monitored properly
- Change room assignments for combative roommates when possible
- Train staff to recognize signs of abuse or potential abuse
The importance of assessing the needs of the residents can’t be minimized. As in society, many acts of violence or abuse occur when the perpetrator feels his or her needs aren't being met. If the community effectively evaluates the needs of the residents and meets those needs, incidents of violence could potentially be reduced.
Recognizing that resident-to-resident violence is a problem is the first step to resolving it. There’s been more research done about staff-to-resident abuse, however, that does not lessen the importance of this growing problem. Educating staff and properly evaluating residents are key factors to eradicating this issue and minimizing the risk in your community.
To learn more about how to protect your senior living community and its residents, contact a member of the ‘A’ Team.
- 7 Tips for Effective Person-Centered Care
- Minimize Risk with Safe Patient Handling Programs
- Senior Living Industry Flyer
- 2017 Industry Outlook Video: Senior Living
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