A survey study concerning violence was conducted among staff (n=506) working with the elderly in residential settings and ordinary homes. The major aim of the study was to investigate the incidence of violence directed towards staff by elderly people living in residential settings. Furthermore, associations between the number of violent incidents and gender, age, year in service, year at present place of work, education of the staff, type of setting, the frequency and type of violence as well as the emotional reactions expressed by the staff should be examined. Forty percent of the staff was exposed to violence during the preceding year and 18% noted incidents of violence daily. A significantly larger proportion of staff working in nursing homes registered violence compared with those working in other types of settings. Physical violence was the most common (76%) type of violence. Powerlessness, sadness, anger and feelings of insufficiency were the most dominant feelings among staff facing by violent situations. Our results point to the necessity to further study caregivers' perception of patient violence and its impact on the quality of care.