Why do harmful resident-to-resident incidents in nursing homes occur?

From The Nursing Home Abuse Podcast: For More Info, Go Here…

Transcript

Why do harmful resident-to-resident incidents in nursing homes occur?

Hundreds of encounters between nursing home residents resulting in injury occur each year. What are the causes of these incidents and what are some of the interventions that nursing homes can take to reduce their occurrence? In today’s episode, nursing home lawyers Rob Schenk and Will Smith discuss resident-to-resident incidents with Dr. Eilon Caspi, a Gerontologist and Dementia Behavior Specialist who recently authored a study on this phenomena.

But Dr. Caspi has conducted a study and he’ll talk about it a little bit more, he’ll elaborate on it when we get him on, but he has done a study of I think over 150 incidents between nursing home residents that resulted in injury or death, and he’s compiled all this data and he’s come to some very interesting conclusions and has some findings that are very interesting.

So I think for too long, for decades, care staff members, researchers, we’ve been using language that describes individuals living with dementia and their various behavioral expressions in ways that reflect misconception and ways that are stigmatizing, laboring, misleading and frankly harmful to these individuals. I think that it’s easy to forget sometimes, especially in the heat of the moment that these individuals live with a serious brain disease. So what we often see, I mean there is progress in this field, but what we often still see is residents with Alzheimer’s disease are being labeled aggressive, violent, abusive, combative, etc. And when they are trying to cope to the best of their ability with their remaining abilities with situations in the social and physical environments, they can be very distressing if not frightening for them.

And one of the problems that this approach causes is that it’s a slippery slope towards – first of all, the first thing is that staff members are no longer in a position to identify the unmet human needs that often underlie or drive those behavioral expressions, number one. And number two, it’s a slippery slope for using antipsychotic medications, that now we really have a problem because now we have a much harder time to identify those unmet human needs.

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