The rat bit the elderly pensioner — who suffers from dementia — so badly that she needed medical treatment for her face wounds, according to an anonymous source speaking to Swedish broadcaster SVT on Friday.
It is understood that the attack took place last month, while the woman was sleeping in her room at the Krokslätts retirement home in Gothenburg. She was later taken to Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
In a recent leaflet handed out to residents of the carehome and their relatives, the area manager for Krokslätts, Eva Steen Olsson admitted that staff had struggled to get rid of rats spotted in and around the building, despite setting traps and putting down poison.
According to SVT, the injured pensioner's attack has been reported to police.
Bo Falkevi, who manages the property on behalf of Gothenburg municipality, said that council inspectors had recently visited the property, where they had discovered rat droppings and cracked water pipes where the animals may have entered.
He told the broadcaster that some pipes had been replaced, while others were set to be “repaired as soon as possible”.
But relatives speaking to SVT have voiced concerns that more of the animals could get into the house in the meantime, putting other vulnerable patients at risk.
The Local was unable to immediately reach the care home for comment.
Swedish media reported on Friday that a meeting between residents, relatives and staff was scheduled for next week.
Krokslätts retirement home is part of a complex of buildings that provides 81 apartments for retired Swedes.
Its website states that the grounds include “plenty of greenery” and a patio for residents.
The rat attack is the second scandal to hit the Swedish care home industry in recent weeks.
Last month three people died after a nursing home in Ljungby in southern Sweden served up a raspberry dessert carrying a deadly virus.