Unfortunately, the worries of being the victim of a bully don’t end in high school. Some people remain bullies their entire lives, eventually entering elder care facilities and nursing homes. Residents living in close proximity often deal with verbal, emotional, sexual and physical assaults; an unfortunate reality in too many nursing homes and senior living facilities.
Staff members should be expected to help new residents by partnering them with a current resident. One who is able to help them integrate into the community. Staff may need to separate residents who can’t be in a common space without devolving into a heated dispute.
Occasionally, older people lash out at others in anger and frustration as they lose their independence and ability to control their lives. With age, even normally well-tempered people can develop behavioral issues. Dementia, for instance, may cause people to act out violently. Certain medications may yield similar reactions.
Physical assault, however, is a much more serious matter. These types of facilities usually include clauses in their contracts that give them the right to evict residents for repeated or particularly bad behavior. In fact, they can potentially be held liable if one resident is harmed by another resident — especially if the facility was aware of the resident’s tendency for violence and had not taken proper precautions to protect those working or living there.
No one should have to live in fear of being abused or assaulted, especially those living out their final years. If you’re aware that a loved one is being harmed or bullied by other residents of their senior living facility or nursing home, it’s important that you do not intervene with a resident or their family on your own. First, talk to those in charge. You should find out what steps they are taking to resolve the situation. Be sure to follow up and make sure that they have taken those steps. Always encourage your loved one to notify you if the problem persists.
If you believe a family member has suffered any harm by another resident and that the facility hasn’t taken the appropriate action, it may be time to determine your legal options. Learn more about residential care litigation and how we can help.