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Can We Avoid Another Westerly Tragedy?

In our last blog, we discussed the fact that the tragedy that occurred at an affordable housing program in Westerly was not an isolated incident. We listed a month by month accounting of murderous assaults and murder-suicides that have occurred in senior housing around the country, with at least one deadly incident occurring monthly in 2019. These incidents did not include a list of assaultive behaviors, sexual assaults or other forms of acting out. The bottom line is that violence in senior housing and affordable housing programs for seniors and the disabled is a problem that continues to grow.

Babcock Village was the site of a murder-suicide involving a staff member and a resident.

We also discussed the fact that staff at some of these programs are assaulted and injured at higher rates than other workplaces. But these dangers are not always from within as there exist external threats as well.


In this week’s blog, we are going to look at these external threats, some red flags indicating a potentially dangerous resident, some examples of problem residents, and using a biopsychosocial assessment to assist in screening for the best possible resident.