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The roommate was not injured.

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Anyone can sue for any reason they choose, but only a judge will decide the outcome. One thing to remember is that when a person has dementia or Alzheimer's, physical aggression is often obvious at some point. What others should be trained to do is how to defend themselves in case there are attacked by another resident. Residents should not have to stand there and take it, especially not roommates. One thing to consider is a private room for the aggressive person who has a tendency to lash out at others for whatever reason is going through their minds at the time.
One more thing that I think I should bring up is something that I remember from many years ago when special beds with tall side rails were used for a person's protection. I recall a time years ago when someone was protected by one of these beds after one of her roommates attacked her as she slept in bed. She sustained a serious head injury that needed stitches, and afterwords she was too scared to go to sleep. That's because all the beds were open, leaving the occupant vulnerable as they slept. The facility finally obtained one of these beds and put it in that person's room. Only then did they go to sleep after being awake for about two days or so. That person slept straight through for about as long as they were awake, and they slept safely in that special enclosed bed. That person was also move to another area and into a private room where the special bed was later brought in for them. This person and the staff were actually very protective of the bed due to its protective nature of any occupant who sleeps in it. I later went on to get a modern version of this same similar bed for my own home since I live alone, and it's a good thing I did because of the danger that moved to my immediate area of my neighborhood. This special bed is something that I would suggest to protect others who are vulnerable to being attacked as they sleep, because sleeping in an open bed leaves anyone vulnerable. If there's going to be aggressive people around nonaggressive people, then something definitely needs to be done quickly.
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I am so glad this question came up! My mother also has dementia along with her Alzheimers (I am not even sure if "one comes with the other") and the Care Center noticed her tendency towards physical contact when angry sometime ago. She has a room to herself (a lot of the patients do at this care center) but she is still in direct contact with other patients when she leaves the room. Before I had her placed in the Center, she was very physical with me several times when I tried to help her. She has calmed down somewhat, I assume it is due to the meds they give her, but I still do have the concern that this issue could come up someday! One thing I was told by the nurses at this Center - my mother was quite physical with us while we were growing up. At that time it was considered "discipline" with the children. However, it seems her potential for this has become magnified since she got ALzheimers. The nurses told me that all the personality traits of the patient remain and even become magnified as they progress with the disease! I always keep this in mind when my mother "acts out"!
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In assisted living, the patient can refuse medications, but in a psych unit or in an Alzheimer's unit they will be confined for the safety of all concerned. If my loved one was attacked, I would insist the assailant be sent for the 72 hour psych evaluation and medication titration. In a hospital, they can differentiate between paranoid/ hallucinatory/ schizophrenic behaviors and treat the symptoms appropriately. Get the right meds and have them given despite her refusal. As long as you take steps to have her treated, you are not liable. Do nothing and fight the system and you can be sued.
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Hugemom, I'm curious - what has the facility had to say for itself about this incident? Hasn't anyone commented on it?
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Sorry, she only THOUGHT her roommate was a man, disregard what I wrote.
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I can't imagine a place that would put an unrelated man and woman together in a room, especially if the woman has issues about men and sex. You are laying the blame all on your mom, but I think the management of the facility are seriously at fault here!
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Mom has a habit of refusing her medicatiins. They can't force them on her. She thinks they are trying to drug her. 😕
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That's so sad! Has the geripsych recommended any medications to combat the delusions, or antianxiety meds to calm her?
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Thank you all for your input. I was informed by the head nurse of this incident. Mom was hallucinating that her roommate was a man. For some reason, perhaps some incident in her past I am not aware of, she has a phobia regarding men. She is also obsessed with sex and is convinced the facility is a front for a brothel. She is currently on the wait list for the Alzheimer's lock down unit. I have never had any issues with her care at this facility. Any issues regarding my mom are her fault and not their's. She has always been a very negative person and always a drama queen. She has never seen the positive in any situation. I have dealt with this all my life. I could not bring her into my home for fear she'd accuse my husband of molesting her. I wont move her to a new facility because, quite, frankly, she is not happy anywhere. The nurse assured me that her roommate was not harmed.
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I should have thought that if the roommate's family feels aggrieved (and I certainly would!) they'll be after the facility, rather than the family of a resident with dementia. What kind of facility is it? It is up to them to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their residents. In fact, that's kind of what they're for. Is she in the right place?
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I really think we need more information to give a meaningful response.

Who told you about this incident?

What action has the facility taken?

Are you you mother's guardian?

Have you refused proposed treatments that have been recommended for her?

Who at the facility is communicsting with you sbout your mom's behavior.?
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This must be my day to miss things - I apologize again. I missed your statement that the roommate was not injured.
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sorry - too many "concerned" in that last paragraph.
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More info is needed about the incident.

Was the roommate injured? Was she upset - this sounds like a stupid question but the woman might have responded in any way ranging from tears to screams. And sometimes just the perception of begin assaulted is enough to induce fear that leads to screams.

Who if anyone witnessed the event, and/or how was it reported?

I'm thinking that a 93 year old woman doesn't have too much strength, but if there were objects used to hit the other woman that could increase the force of the blow.

Generally I don't know about liability issues in that kind of setting but I'm thinking that if the family of the other woman is upset, they would look toward the nursing home for allegedly failing to provide adequate supervision, that sort of thing.

I would, however, read all the application/admission papers to see if any liability issues like this are addressed.

I would approach the nursing home pre-emptively, assuring them that you're concerned and concerned about the woman's welfare and her family's concern. And ask what can be done to prevent this in the future. It could range from a room change to just keeping the two of them apart.
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Against you? No, absolutely not. And by charges, I assume you mean criminal charges. Civil liability, if there were any injuries, could effect mom...not you.

Some advice you didn't ask for -- your mom needs medication, I'm afraid, to make sure this doesn't happen ever again. Her roommate could have actually DIED. Just say in' . . .
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Who saw that your mother had hit the roommate? Or was it the roommate who made that comment to staff or her relatives later? Does the roommate have memory issues herself? As we all have read here on the forms, patients with dementia are known to become story tellers about things that never happened.
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