It is natural to worry about the experience your loved one will have in a nursing home. After all, most families have heard stories about neglect leading to bedsores or even acts of abuse by the people working at nursing homes.
You probably spent some time researching to find the best facility available in your loved one’s price range. You may even try to develop a relationship with the people who care for your loved one to ensure that they receive adequate and timely assistance when they need help.
What you may not consider is that the other residents in the nursing home are also a source of risk. A nursing home resident with a history of interpersonal violence or one struggling with cognitive decline due to age or Alzheimer’s could assault your loved one, possibly causing severe injuries before staff members intervene. However, with the right protocols in place, that kind of interpersonal violence is almost always preventable.
Violence is a constant concern in assisted living facilities
Although there aren’t statistics available about how often residents in nursing homes attack each other, the data available about nursing home violence paints a grim picture. According to self-reported data from nursing home workers, about 12% get bitten by a patient every year and 35% suffer physical injuries due to patient violence.
The people working at a nursing home have a responsibility to monitor for signs of decline or violent tendencies in each resident. Limiting where someone who frequently becomes aggressive or confused can go within the facility protects not just that individual but other residents as well. So do the right medical interventions and timely responses to call lights. Staff members should also monitor the rooms and hallways frequently to ensure no one faces violence from a neighbor.
Understaffing is a major risk in nursing homes
With enough staff members available, nursing home residents should have little reason to worry about violence. Unfortunately, because companies often keep staffing as low as they possibly can, acts of preventable violence may occur in a nursing home facility resulting in an innocent older adult suffering significant injuries.
Recognizing that even interpersonal violence among residents is preventable with proper care can help you take action if neglect in a nursing home affects your family.