Claims of Maryland nursing home abuse often focus on abuse by staff members—but abuse by fellow residents occurs as well. Residents may be charged and convicted of crimes in some cases, but the facility may be liable for its role in the abuse as well.
Residents in Maryland nursing homes deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and to live in a safe environment. This means that nursing home facilities must have proper policies and procedures in place and adequate staffing to reasonably protect residents. Although a facility cannot ensure the safety of every one of its residents, some incidents are avoidable if proper measures are taken. A facility may be liable, for example, if a staff member failed to do routine checks or failed to protect other residents from a known violent resident.
A study conducted by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care found that almost twenty percent of residents in the study experienced resident-on-resident abuse. The study also found that resident-on-resident abuse often occurs and escalates specifically because staff members are absent. Residents involved in resident-on-resident abuse were more likely to be younger, less cognitively impaired, less physically impaired, display disturbing behaviors, live in a dementia special care unit, and white. The National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center recommends adopting a person-centered approach to prevent resident-to-resident abuse incidents, by identifying and documenting incidents and developing individual strategies.