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Why is a violent resident allowed to stay at a facility?

One of the residents at mom's memory care unit is violent with staff, she hits them and has broken furniture. Most of the time she is docile but if something makes her mad she strikes out at the nearest person or object. She has thrown chairs against windows and I fear for mom's safety. What is the responsibility of the community to one single resident vs. the rest of the residents on the floor? What responsibility do they have towards staff members who may be injured by this person?
Status: Open    Feb 29, 2016 - 04:47 AM

Senior Living Communities, Dementia

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Mar 08, 2016 - 12:20 PM

There are several approaches to be considered, but in direct answer to your question the facility has the right to involuntarily transfer/discharge the resident with 30 days written notice EXCEPT when the resident poses a threat to himself or others. In that case 30 days notice is not required but the resident maintains the right of appeal.
I would start by approaching the facility administration, preferably the Executive Director or Administrator. Ask what their policy is regarding violent or combative residents. What is the degree of cognitive impairment? Has anyone looked closely to determine a pattern, what might be triggering the aggression? Has the staff been trained to anticipate and then deal with such outbursts?
It may be useful to call upon the services of a geri-psychiatrist, who can determine if there is a contributing medical condition such as a UTI, and if not, can recommend remedial interventions. All residents have a right to be free of chemical retraints, but a geriatric psychiatrist is best suited to determine if a phamaceutical approach is required.
Lastly if all else fails, you can bring the attention to the state agency that licenses the facility, the Department of Public Health. That would not be my first recourse, but their involvement will accelerate a resolution.

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