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20 Percent of Nursing Home Residents Are Victims of Abuse

Posted By Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. || 13-Jul-2016

When people think of nursing home abuse, they usually think that staff members are the abusers. In fact, residents of nursing homes are also abused by other fellow residents. According to a study in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, at least one in five residents of nursing homes is a victim of elder abuse by roommates or other residents.

Elderly patients who have neuro-degenerative illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are particularly susceptible to becoming victims of abuse. When they enter a nursing home, they are often in communal living environments with strangers for the first time in their lives. Unfortunately, these patients usually have behavioral issues that make living with others difficult and they are often incapable of protecting themselves or explaining that they are being abused.

The study, which involved 407 nursing home residents, found that at least 20 percent had been abused in the past month. The types and frequency of the abuse includes:

  • Verbal abuse (screaming or using inappropriate words): 9.1 percent
  • Physical abuse: 5.2 percent
  • Sexual abuse: 0.6 percent
  • Other elder abuse (such as menacing gestures or invasion of privacy): 5.3 percent

Researchers included any incidence of aggressive, negative, and unwelcome behavior from one resident to another, which were identified through staff interviews, resident interviews, observation, chart review, and incident and accident reports. The findings are based only on reported cases, suggesting that the actual number may be much higher. Residents were an average age of 84 years old with women making up 73 percent of the study group. Roughly 16 percent of the residents resided in a special unit for dementia patients.

Why Does Abuse Occur?
Sadly, nursing homes and assisted living facilities do not always provide the services we expect our loved ones to receive. A nursing home may be understaffed, or its staff may not be sufficiently trained. The home or assisted living facility may not have proper procedures in place to supervise the residents, or it may fail to properly train its staff. The facility may hire employees who are unfit to care for frail or vulnerable residents.

Nursing home operators in New York State have a specific responsibility to keep residents safe. Part of that duty is to prevent and stop abuse.

Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. has represented the elderly and the victims of abuse against assisted living facilities and nursing homes and we can help make sure your loved one has an opportunity to obtain justice against those people who have abused them. We are prepared to do what it takes to help you seek justice for your loved one.

Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation.

Categories: Nursing Home Abuse
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