Senior Center

Increased Violence in Senior Communities

By Megan C @ LivingSenior - July 9, 2013

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Violence in the United States is on the rise, and senior communities are no exception. While shootings are a hot topic right now, they aren’t the only type of crime being committed in senior and assisted living communities. It could be a number of factors, including lack of supervision, lack of inspections and simply patients who are a danger to themselves and others.

Violence in Senior Communities

Unfortunately, many seniors are now being put in jeopardy and many people don’t realize it until it is too late over the last several months, violence has been increasing at assisted living and senior living communities. This includes one community where one elderly resident stabbed another resident more than a dozen times. Another story involved a confrontation between a resident and a caretaker, where the mentally ill resident stabbed the caretaker in the head. He was suffering from bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder.

Protecting Yourself

Currently, there is a debate over whether or not seniors should be allowed to carry a gun to protect themselves. If the above stories have taught you anything, it should be that even in a supposedly safe environment, dangerous situations can occur that you might not be prepared for. The main debate is over whether seniors should be entrusted with weapons, or if their mental state is too fragile to handle a weapon. One of the best things you can do to protect yourself is by living with someone who you know and trust in the community, getting to know your neighbors, and reporting any suspicious behavior you see in others in the community.

Signs and Suspicious Behavior

If you’re living in a senior community or assisted living community, there are signs to look for in others that might raise red flags. A patient who is suddenly different emotionally or behaviorally might not be taking their meds properly which could lead to a dangerous situation. Similarly, residents who are suddenly acting suspicious, not making sense, or making threats to other residents and caretakers is another concern. By reporting the behavior you observe right away, you could possibly prevent violence from occurring in your senior living community.

The gun control debate aside, you should do what you have to do to protect yourself and loved ones when living in a senior community. Like other types of communities, it is up to you and the people caring for you to keep you safe and secure. This is why it is important to be careful what senior communities you choose, looking for one in a safe neighborhood and looking at the history of potential violence or neglect at the community. The increased violence is reason enough to be more careful.

Though many seniors are more concerned with how to protect themselves on a daily basis, many are looking to the increased violence as a sign to remain home. Due to the rise in violence in senior communities home health care has seen an increase in interested families and seniors. This is good news for the home health community as a whole, but it may not be a long term solution for the spread of violence.