Twelve residents have been killed in Ontario nursing homes in the past two years—by other residents. Now, leaders in the long-term care community are speaking out about the problem, urging the government to provide more funding and training to reduce aggressive behaviors among senior living residents.
Ontario, Canada-based TheCareGuide.com, a resource for seniors offering care and housing options, has issued a call to action against resident-on-resident violence. “The problem is not going to go away,” notes Fred Schleich, the company’s president. “Seniors dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia can become aggressive and confused, and increased staff with the training and knowledge to better manage these residents would reduce serious or even fatal injuries to other residents and staff.”
Although dementia is not the only trigger of violence, a growing number of violent acts among nursing home residents have involved dementia. The Ontario Long-Term Care Association (OLTCA) is encouraging the province to place more behavioral health support staff in nursing homes and train caregivers in strategies to redirect violent outbursts before they escalate. Such approaches include team-based care, activity stations to engage restless residents and awareness training by experts in behavioral health and dementia, Candace Chartier, OLTCA’s president, tells the Ottawa Citizen.
Ontario has 626 long-term care homes. More than 60 percent of the nursing home residents in the province have some form of cognitive dysfunction.