As someone who owns and/or operates a Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE), you are well aware of the many challenges that are involved. Among the most difficult aspects of managing an RCFE is properly addressing and resolving conflicts that arise between the residents themselves. As with any environment where there are many people needing to coexist on an ongoing basis, it can be tough to prevent disagreements and keep everyone content.
Disputes between residents can develop for a number of reasons, including accumulated stress and stark differences in personalities. No matter the reason(s) involved, it is ultimately vital to handle these conflicts as swiftly as possible so that they do not escalate. With our in-depth knowledge of RCFE operations, we would like to share some of the best ways to address conflicts between RCFE residents.
1. Focus on Prevention Where Possible
One of the best ways to maintain peace among RCFE residents is to try and avert conflict before it takes place. This entails establishing easy-to-follow facility rules and then offering routine training on implementing them. It is also important for RCFE staff to spend as much time as possible familiarizing themselves with the residents so that they can quickly notice when something is amiss. Being able to resolve an emerging problem before it can turn into a full-blown disagreement is ideal.
2. Facilitate Productive Discussion and Maintain Neutrality
There are times when even your best efforts to diffuse a situation before it develops into a bigger conflict may be unsuccessful. In such instances, it is important to bring the parties together and work toward a quick and satisfactory resolution. From the start, it is essential that the residents understand that you are a neutral participant and are not there to take anyone’s side. If a resident feels that you are being biased, he or she may be unwilling to open up about what is going on.
Along these lines, it is also crucial to make sure that all residents involved in the dispute are encouraged to express their views in a clear and calm manner. Let the residents know that everyone will have a chance to voice their feelings, and reiterate the importance of not interrupting. It will ultimately be challenging to resolve the situation unless each resident feels as though they had the opportunity to get their point across.
3. Seek Assistance if Necessary
In certain circumstances you may find that, in spite of your best efforts, the conflict between residents isn’t finding a satisfactory resolution. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to look for a neutral third party, or even a trained professional, that can step in and offer additional support. At the same time, you can also learn some useful techniques from these professionals that can then be used in the future.
While it is never easy or pleasant to deal with disagreements between RCFE residents, it is nevertheless vital to get them resolved as smoothly and effectively as you can. We hope that the tips discussed above prove useful to you as you work to make your RCFE a pleasant and supportive environment for all. As a leading RCFE insurance broker, we can also assist you in getting the quality coverage you need to keep your facility operating successfully. Give us a call at (805) 413-5668.