Nursing homes are supposed to be quaint places for the elderly to relax and recreate with each other. Right? Sure, I guess it depends upon the circumstances, but most people would be shocked to learn that episodes of violence do occur on a regular basis.
Just recently, and 89-year-old man at a Tennessee nursing home died after he got into an altercation with a new roommate. According to news reports, the man who suffered from Alzheimer’s became upset when a new roommate was brought into his room and a fight ensured. Shortly after the fight was broken up he became unresponsive and died.
While there may have been any number of reasons why the fight ensued, nursing homes need to acknowledge that violence can be a problem at take steps to protect their patients from harm inflicted both at the hands of other patients, visitors and staff. By incorporating safety guidelines, nursing homes can drastically reduce the episodes.
As a nursing home lawyer, I have seen facilities successfully reduce violence at their facilities by doing the following:
- Providing extra supervision for newly admitted patients
- Conducting background screening and criminal checks
- Supervising younger and psychologically disturbed patients away from patients in the general population
- Removing dangerous objects from the environment
- Providing counseling services for patients with aggressive behavior
While nothing can outright eliminate episodes of occasional violence at nursing homes, when staff incorporate the above steps, patient safety can improve.
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