We must see the violence as a symbol of a personʼs deep fear. Our first priority is to keep the person and the caregivers safe. Some caregivers do not honestly know any other option outside of force and control. This can come from the training theyʼve had, the culture of the organization, or simply not knowing what else to do.
We need to invest in training that gives caregivers more proactive tools and strategies. It is better to create peace rather than violence. Look at what contributes to the person feeling unsafe and unloved, examine ways to increase the sense of safety and valuing, work on developing a circle of relationships where the person feels safe and loved, and loosen the reigns of control that can sometimes lead to violence. If you feel safe and loved by me, you will be less likely to hurt yourself or others when in distress.
We recommend that organizations start with where they are and develop a plan to move away from physical management as their confidence, skill level and support grows. If one must use physical management, do so with kindness and concern.