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I'm 4 whole days into a new job at a local CBRF, and one of our residents verbally attacked me. Saying just horrible, mean things. Okay. So, with my years of training, I know enough not to react to this assault and fuel the fire more. The guy was sitting there behind me about 10 feet in the middle of a Bingo game with several other residents within ear-shot. Thank goodness most of them weren't following his rant, or had enough tact not to make it any worse than it was. I stayed where I was...with my resident to help her play her bingo board. But the minute the game was over and everyone started to disburse I got up and found my supervisor to tell her we were done, and explain what had happened. She was not happy with him, and told me this wasn't the first time he's attacked people. She profusely apologized to me and said she'd talk to her boss to see what can be done. My feelings about the whole thing were initially shock and hurt but then over the weekend while I've been away from work, I keep thinking how I can't hold it against him. I do realize how an elder's health issues can make them act out. So, my intention is to try to move past this. BUT, ....if it happens again, or becomes a continuing thing with this resident feeling like he has an uninhibited right to assault me at will, I won't stand for it.


WHAT exactly are my rights as a caregiver in a facility like this? Our training tells us that we are supposed to treat our elders with dignity and respect, and protect their autonomy...which I DO. But shouldn't that be a two way street? How much is too much? How far can an elder really push? (assuming they are not suffering from dementia).


I believe this gentleman is perfectly capable of knowing better. Do I have rights to protect myself? and if so, what are they specifically?

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With your years of training... how many years, if you don't mind my asking?

You're four days into the job. You have spoken to your supervisor, who was supportive and said she will see what can be done. Don't you think in any case it would be best to wait a bit and see what that is?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Just following up with you. You’ve been on my mind. Please feel free to reach out to people who care on this forum. We care.

Again, so sorry that you had this unpleasant experience. You are a good person to choose to work with the elderly.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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The guy is stuck in this place, acting out is probably his saving grace
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Reply to shad250
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 8, 2019
Shad,

This new employee who has an important job helping the residents at this facility has a right to inquire about these circumstances.

The situation of the resident does not trump his situation. They are equally important and he is seeking advice as to how best deal with it. That shows me he is a caring individual.

I admire him for wanting to achieve harmony and safety for all, including himself. He is looking out for everyone and has a tough job. I appreciate his hard work and dedication.

Telling him he gets to go home is not helping. He doesn’t need a guilt trip. He has nothing to feel guilty over. It is not his fault that the residents are there. He obviously has compassion or he wouldn’t have a job like he has helping others.

Think whatever you wish privately but sharing that with him is not helping him, certainly not supporting him.
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I am sorry this happened to you. I suppose it goes with the territory working in this field.

I am glad your supervisor was honest with you and said this has happened before. Judging by her response it is most likely to happen again. It sounds like you are prepared for that.

Verbal attacks aren’t a pleasant experience but part of the package of your work. I’d rather experience a verbal attack over a physical one any day of the week.

I suppose you may be able to inquire about this resident and anyone else for that matter as to how often this occurs and if it has progressed further at other times and precisely how is it handled. You are not out of line to question this if you are planning to have this for a long time position.

Do you know who held the position before you? Is it possible to speak to them?

I would not tolerate physical abuse. I made that mistake once with someone who had severe autism and it isn’t worth it.

You do have a right not to be in physical danger. I would speak further to your supervisor while it is fresh on her mind in this recent disturbance.

Best at of luck to you. Take care.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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He probably does have some form of dementia. That doesn’t make the verbal abuse ok but it comes with the territory. When you work in a facility like this, angry residents are part of the terrority. Not all will have ALZ/dementia either. You’ve got to have a thick skin. I’m with Joann, you have to let this go. What do you expect to be done about the resident? If he’s got cognitive decline/ALZ/dementia, he can’t be taught a lesson, disciplined, reprimanded or reasoned with. None of those things will stop him from verbally attacking again. If there were other staff present, I do wonder if one of them couldn’t have tried to redirect him. I completely understand NOT wanting to take verbal abuse but there are some jobs where it is part of the territory and you either deal with it or you move on to another job.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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Look at it this way, you get to go home, he the CBRF is his home, probably for life, as well as you probably can still do your ADLs, he probably needs help with his.
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Reply to shad250
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You are going to just let things go. He isn't going to be the first or last. He maybe testing you. Don't allow it to get to you. Your supervisor will handle it. If you don't know much about Dementia and ALZ, read up on it. Read the posts here. The man is a resident for a reason. You did good.
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