The rise in community residential facilities across this country, this is one subject that doesn’t get enough airtime, dangerous working conditions for workers tasked with helping the developmentally disabled and mentally ill live full lives. Many of these homes are populated with individuals who have severe mental illnesses with histories of violent aggression, sexual inappropriate behaviors. As this article points out, that many of these individuals aren’t appropriate for community residential housing, or housing that aren’t staffed with medical professionals who can immediately act on a volatile situation.
Another instance of violence in a community setting , In the link is a story, a worker had taken an individual to the store; which is often required by agencies receiving funding that they take violently aggressive individuals into the community to shop, and do normal activities. While in the store the individual attacked someone. This is also a common problem in residential group home settings and that is, violently aggressive individuals are taken out into the community and attacking people or even their staff. To add the that problem, many staff of these homes are not allowed to physically restrain the individual forcing them and members of the community to involve the police.
For decades there have been work by mental health advocates to do away with psychiatric hospitals, and to do away with medication that can inhibit dangerous behaviors in individuals because it was deemed a chemical restraint. Often times family members themselves are against medications to inhibit violent behaviors being given to their loved ones, with no recourse for employees who often risk their lives providing care. In this case, the woman was 66 alone in a home with a violent male with a mental illness.
Companies are also tasked with providing a safe environment for residents and employees, and when that doesn’t happen, can be fined for neglect of a resident, and fined by the OSHA.