Monday, April 2, 2012

Sad stories of violence in LTC, likely in retirement homes

W5 has reported violence in LTC. Specifically, resident to resident violence.
It is 4 times more common there- than in public, they tell us.

It is certainly not surprising. In LTC we find residents with mental health issues, as well as multiple co-morbidities. There are few facilities for young people with MS, MD, autism, early onset dementia; those unable to live alone, or with other issues unrelated to age.

The former group care settings for violent offenders, for the mentally ill, were closed many years ago. This means that people with such tendencies are housed with the vulnerable seniors, with frail bodies, dealing with cancer, strokes, or mobility issues, unable to live alone.

Anyone will tell you of the violence they see in healthcare settings, and even in schools. As a teacher, I was shoved by an angry parent. I've been hit and pushed, as have many of my nurse friends in their places of work.

I would imagine that there are many in retirement homes with similar issues.

Residents tend to wander, those who are prone to such behaviour. Dementia and agitation is common. It is terribly difficult to keep strangers out of your room. I know. My father used to wander, get lost, and go into other people's rooms.

  • We need more staff, better trained, with locked facilities that protect us all, both staff and residents, from violence. We need a higher ratio of staff to residents, who can be vigilant. 
  • We need administrators who can deny a bed for a person staff deem too violent to fit into an institution. 
  • Family members must visit at different times of the day. They need to listen to loved ones, and be vigilant.


  • There were 1,788 reported incidents of resident-to-resident abuse in 2010. 
  • There are 76,000 people currently living in long-term care homes in Ontario.
  • There were 73,045 police-reported assaults in Ontario in 2010 out of an estimated population of 13,210,667.
  • There were 23 resident-to-resident assaults per 1000 people living in long-term care in 2010.
  • There had been 5 assaults per 1000 people in the general public.

Read more: 
W5: Long-term care facilities may put seniors at risk
Resident-to-resident abuse in long-term care is far more common than you might think. The statistics include everything from shoving and pushing to, choking, punching and even sexual assaults.  Through access to information, W5 obtained the number of resident-to-resident assaults in Ontario nursing homes. With the help of a statistician, W5 analyzed the dataFull Story

Tips for families looking for a nursing home

Are you looking for a nursing home or other long-term care facility for a loved one? Follow these important tips before making a decision.

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