Together, we can keep care providers safe, healthy, and caring for Nova Scotians. Learn more at

Q&A: Dealing with Dementia Patients

Yellow CrossDealing With Dementia Patients
Hi my question is can I refuse to provide care to the client who is violent if it puts the client at risk of injury at the time. An example would be what if the client is trying to exit the building and threatening to harm me if I try to prevent them from leaving. I know if they leave they may be injured, hit by a car/ not dressed for the weather etc. Thanks I thought the course was appropriate and met my needs.
According to section 43 of the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act, every employee has the right to refuse work “…where the employee has reasonable grounds to believe that the act is likely to endanger the employee’s health and safety…”
Ideally a work refusal is never required. Instead clear communication of the safety concern to your supervisor or manager and a collaborative approach to hazard identification and mitigation should be used. By sharing safety concerns and working together on solutions to these concerns, not only can work refusals be avoided but injuries can be prevented by having clearly defined steps in place by way of policy and training to deal with situations like these. Your manager and safety committee are valuable assets in addressing workplace safety and if solutions are not in place for issues such as yours discussing this with the Committee is a great place to start.

Drop your comment