Nursing home neglect and abuse have always been a concern to families who are considering placing a loved one in a nursing home. Until the recent past, most of these concerns were focused on the staff members who were charged with caring for nursing home residents. However, more recently, there has been an increase in the instances of resident-on-resident abuse in nursing homes across the country, including here in Maryland.
Resident-On-Resident Abuse and Who Is Responsible
The recent trend of resident-on-resident abuse is certainly alarming, and it gives rise to the question of who can be held responsible when such abuse occurs. Often, the abusive resident may not have the mental faculties to completely understand what they are doing, and even if they do possess a wrongful intent, they often do not have the ability to make the victim whole again.
This concern has led some to look to others, most notably nursing home administration, for answers. Those who run a nursing home have a duty to ensure the safety of their residents in most situations. While there are some unforeseeable events that may not give rise to nursing home liability, courts have held that nursing home administration does have a duty to protect against resident-on-resident abuse. Thus, when a resident is abused by another resident, there may be a civil cause of action against the nursing home that failed to provide the necessary supervision over one or both of the parties involved.
Statistics on Nursing Home Abuse
With over 1.7 million beds in nursing homes across the county, there is a huge population of nursing home residents who need to be cared for. However, the fact remains that about 44% of those residents reported being abused, and 95% reported being neglected. According to one United States government source, resident-on-resident abuse consists of about 22% of all abuse complaints nationwide. Most of these complaints are the result of physical or sexual abuse, and most of the victims of the abuse suffer from a severe physical or mental disability.
Reports of neglect are directly related to these claims of resident-on-resident abuse, since most of the abuse results from a lack of supervision. The statistics regarding neglect are astounding, with nearly one in three nursing homes being cited at some point for failing to prevent some kind of harm to a resident.
Do You Have a Loved One in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you are concerned that they may be the victim of abuse or neglect, you should seek the counsel of an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to monetary compensation. However, nursing home employees have been known to destroy evidence of abuse as soon as they receive an inquiry about a resident’s complaints. It is therefore best to have an attorney involved early in the process to help document any evidence of abuse that may exist before it is destroyed, lost, or otherwise made unavailable. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Nurse Charged with Abusing Patient and Falsifying Business Records to Cover It Up, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 15, 2016.
Psychological Abuse in Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 5, 2016.