Commissioning care homes: common safeguarding challenges

Common safeguarding issues – Physical abuse between residents

Care homes often have to deal with altercations and abuse between residents, some of which entail physical attacks. This could be the result of tensions between people living in close proximity, and may also be caused or exacerbated by misunderstandings due to dementia, learning disability, or mental health problems. Some instances of challenging behaviour may be due to poor relationships with, and poor management of, residents. Training in managing challenging behaviour, appropriate restraint and de-escalating situations is important.

Prior to someone choosing a home, their assessment should consider their compatibility with other residents and any risks to the individual or other residents due to challenging behaviour. In order to reduce or avoid abuse and harm, care homes should work to prevent such incidents occurring by identifying triggers and supporting individuals who perpetrate abuse as well as their victims.

Prevention checklist