Personal Conflicts, Even Violence, Are Not Uncommon in Long-Term Care
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In long-term care facilities, residents sometimes yell at or threaten one other, lob insults, invade fellow residents’ personal or living space, rummage through others’ possessions and take them. They can swat or kick or push.

Or worse. Eilon Caspi, a gerontologist at the University of Connecticut, has searched news coverage and coroners’ reports and identified 105 resident deaths in long-term care facilities over 30 years that resulted from incidents involving other residents.

The actual number is higher, he said, because such deaths don’t always receive news media attention or are not reported in detail to the authorities.

“We have this extraordinary paradox: the institutions, nursing homes and assisted livings who care for the most vulnerable members of our society are some of the most violent in our society,” said Karl Pillemer, a Cornell University gerontologist who has studied resident-to-resident conflict for years.

Aside from psychiatric hospitals and residential youth facilities, he said, “it doesn’t happen anywhere else that one in five residents are involved in some kind of aggressive incident every month.”

Read more in the New York Times.

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