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Case Study: Resident on Resident Violence . . . what would you do?

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A Long Term Care facility in Toronto, Wexford Residence, has been thrust into the media spotlight after the death of a resident this past Wednesday night. I first wrote about it on the RetirmentHomes.com blog in an article titled,  Retirement home resident dies after assault- how communities work to protect their residents.   Here are the known and pertinent details:

  • 72 year-old Peter Ray Brooks, was arrested by police and is being charged with second-degree murder and aggravated assault against two fellow residents.
  • Joycelyn Dickson, age 72 died of her injuries received in the assault.
  • Another 91 year-old female resident also suffered injuries.

The facility:

  • A non-profit community started as an outgrowth of the Church of the Christian Brotherhood.
  • Doors opened in 1978
  • Has 166 resident beds, many of them subsided by the City of Toronto

Background:

  • A union staffer representing employees of the facility told the Globe & Mail newspaper that employees had reported that Peter Ray Brooks “was violent.”
  • Police said a weapon was seized from the facility, and a cane was seen being removed by police
  • Records from the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-term Care showed complaints were lodged against Wexford Residence in 2012, including abusive staff members and the lack of written care plans for residents.

Considerations:

  • Will the family of Joycelyn Dickson, or the other injured woman, file a suit against Wexford Residence?
  • If employees warned management about Peter Ray Brooks’ violent tendencies, what steps were taken by management?
  • What evaluation was done for Peter Ray Brooks upon his moving into Wexford Residence?
  • How many other instances of resident-on-resident abuse or bullying have been reported by staff or family members?
  • Who at the Wexford Residence is most liable for the death of Joycelyn Dickson and the injury of the other 91 year-old female resident?
  • How could this incident impact the Wexford Residence’s ability to offer subsidized beds?

  When I read this story, my first thought was “thank goodness I was not the executive director when this happened” and then I begin to wonder . . .

  • Were there things the executive director and the rest of the management team could have done to prevent this from happening?
  • What are the legal implications for the senior community?
  • If you were the executive director and/or marketing director how would you do damage control.

What are your thoughts?   Robert Walker is the Brand Manager at RetirementHomes.com, where he specializes in digital marketing for the senior housing industry. He manages a free monthly webinar for senior living professionals. Register HERE.

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