Maryland nursing home residents, like all nursing home residents, deserve to live in a safe place. Although elder rights groups report that there is insufficient research on resident-on-resident abuse in nursing homes, they have found it is prevalent and warrants societal concern. Indeed, a recent study by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care found that around 20 percent of residents experienced resident-on-resident abuse. The study also found that the residents most likely to be involved in resident-on-resident abuse are often cognitively and physically impaired, and in many cases, they also have dementia.
In addition, elder abuse often goes unreported. According to the Office of Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services, over a quarter of serious cases of nursing home abuse are not reported to the police. This is true even though state and federal laws require that nursing home management report serious cases of abuse to the police.
Some believe that the rise in resident-on-resident abuse is due to an increase in nursing home residents suffering from dementia and the lack of staff equipped to handle those challenges. The Consumer Voice’s study found that resident-on-resident abuse often occurs as a single instance and then escalates because staff are not present to stop it.
Nursing Home Security Footage Reveals Resident-on-Resident Attack
Back in 2013, an 84-year-old nursing home resident died four days after breaking his hip at the nursing home. The nursing home’s staff told the resident’s family that he had fallen two times. However, the family later obtained security footage from the nursing home that his family described as a “horror movie.” According to a recent news source, the video showed the resident standing in front of his room and another resident shoving him to the floor. The other resident then grabs a chair and throws it at him.
The victim had been previously diagnosed with schizophrenia and had lived in care facilities for most of his life. His family said that they advocated for years on his behalf. In 2003, he had a stroke and was not able to get around as easily and had trouble swallowing food. He also developed other conditions, including arthritis, cataracts, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The resident’s family members say that his room was near an exit and that when other residents would unsuccessfully try to go out the locked door, they would go into his room looking for another exit.
According to the resident’s family, the resident who assaulted their loved one had become violent and attempted to fight other residents in the days before the attack occurred.
Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
If you believe your loved one may have been abused or neglected at a Maryland nursing home, contact a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. Residents are entitled to safety, and an experienced nursing home attorney can help you evaluate the strength of your claim against the facility. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our attorneys have decades of experience representing victims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Our firm approaches each case with empathy and professionalism in order to provide you and your loved ones with the attention you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 1-800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600 or contact us online.
More Blog Posts:
A Follow-Up on the 12 Post-Irma Nursing Home Deaths, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 19, 2018.
Sexual Assault Among Maryland Nursing Home Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 5, 2018.