According to a study conducted by gerontologists at Weill Cornell Medical College, one out of five nursing home residents has been a victim of abuse carried out by a fellow resident.
The study, which spanned five years and considered data compiled from 10 nursing homes, looked at inappropriate, disruptive, or hostile behavior between nursing home residents. Researchers determined that more than 19 percent of individuals in long-term skilled nursing care facilities have suffered resident-to-resident elder mistreatment.
Based on survey responses from more than 2,000 residents, researchers were able to break down abuse into various categories. Of those surveyed:
- 16 percent suffered verbal abuse from a fellow resident
- 5 percent reported an invasion of personal space, including another resident stealing property or entering the victim’s room without invitation
- 7 percent had endured physical violence, such as kicking, hitting, or biting, at the hands of another resident
- 3 percent had been the victim of sexual misconduct carried out by a fellow resident
These are shocking statistics that understandably leave family members feeling helpless and overwhelmed. When a beloved family member is placed in a nursing home, it’s normal to worry about the care they are receiving. Knowing that resident-to-resident abuse can and does happen only adds to the stress.
Protecting Older Loved Ones
One of the most important steps you can take toward protecting your elderly loved one is to familiarize yourself with abuse and take action when you notice anything suspicious.
- Visit frequently with elderly loved ones. If possible, make unannounced visits so you can get a better idea of their conditions and surroundings.
- If you suspect abuse, ask your loved one about it. Encourage communication and honesty with your elderly family member. Many older adults hide abuse because they believe it’s shameful or embarrassing. Talking about it can remove the stigma.
- Report abuse or suspected abuse right away. Many facilities employ social workers trained to handle abuse and neglect cases.
Nursing homes have a legal responsibility to protect the individuals placed in their care. Each facility must follow state and federal laws and regulations that require nursing homes to maintain a safe, clean, and medically sound environment for residents. Facilities must care for the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their residents. This obligation to protect extends to keeping residents safe from harm at the hands of other residents.
Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
The personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers at Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. pursue justice on behalf of people and families who have been hurt as a result of nursing home abuse, negligence, and neglect. Call today at (312) 779-6610 to speak to an Anesi Ozmon attorney about your case.
This website has been prepared by Anesi, Ozmon, Rodin, Novak & Kohen, Ltd. for informational purposes only and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice from an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.