Nursing home neglect is dangerous for many different reasons. Patient-to-patient violence is one consequence of nursing home neglect that often gets misunderstood. Violence and aggression is much more prevalent in nursing homes with a lot of dementia patients.
Dementia patients can have violent outbursts
Nursing home patients with dementia can be more prone to violent outbursts. Patients with cognitive decline can also be more susceptible to being injured by other patients. When a nursing home puts a lot of dementia patients together and then fails to supervise them properly, there is a perfect storm for injury.
Two-thirds of nursing home patients that are involved in violent incidents have dementia. Often, an aggressive dementia patient is blamed for harming another patient when the root of the problem was actually neglect by nursing home staff. This type of nursing home neglect can usually be prevented with adequate monitoring of all patients.
Neglected dementia patients more likely to be violent
A dementia patient that is not having their physical, emotional and medical needs met may become frustrated and then lash out at whoever is nearby. Pushing or hitting another vulnerable patient can sometimes lead to a fatal accident. This is one reason why neglect of dementia patients’ needs and failure to supervise all patient interactions is extremely dangerous.
What to do if you see a problem
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is important to be aware of the potential for patient-to-patient violence. Push-fall incidents are common, so speak up if you think patients are not being properly supervised. If you notice a patient who seems like they are overly frustrated, you may want to alert staff about your concerns.