Research – social care staff vulnerable to physical attacks from patients with dementia and autism

handWest Yorkshire, UK — A research conducted by social care staff vulnerable to physical attacks from found that social care staff who  take care of patients with dementia and autism are more at risk from physical attacks.

A survey conducted by the organization last year, which involved about 1,300 frontline staff from social care centers, found they experienced physical assault from patients. The survey also found that the centers they work for usually do not have existing policies that deal with physical assault or violence.

Although a number of social care staff working with dementia patients were found to have likely been physically assaulted, incidents recorded from the past year were mostly related to verbal abuse; while caregivers working with patients on the autism spectrum were less likely to suffer from verbal abuse, but are more susceptible to physical assault.

According to one of the survey respondents:

“This episode of verbal abuse and threatening behaviour is not rare – it is something that happens every day. So far, I have a broken tooth, deep bite wounds to my arms and cuts to my face. This incident escalated to a dangerous level but was dealt with because staff are skilled in intervention work.”

The authors of the research recommended that employers of the social care centers should have a range of techniques designed to support the social care staff, including structured training programs.

The original article by Judy Cooper on the Community Care website can be read here

Contributed by Althea Estrella Violeta