Earlier this month, a report was released by a team of researchers at Weil Cornell Medical Center in New York City, looking into the surge in resident-on-resident abuse in nursing homes. According to one news source that reported on the newly released study, abuse between nursing home residents is becoming more and more common, and it occasionally results in serious injury and even in death.
The study surveyed about 2,000 nursing home residents across 10 nursing homes in the New York area, looking for instances of inappropriate, hostile, or disruptive behavior. The following statistics were reported:
- Roughly six percent of residents were involved in an altercation involving hitting, kicking, or biting;
- Sixteen percent of residents experienced some form of yelling, screaming, or cursing;
- About two percent experienced unwanted sexual contact or had another resident expose their genitals; and
- Nearly 10 percent of residents reported having another resident invade their personal space.
While not every one of the above categories is especially serious, each can escalate an already heated situation, potentially making it much worse.
The report also notes some factors that can increase the likelihood of resident-on-resident abuse. A few factors are crowded nursing homes that offer less personal space, understaffed nursing homes with high patient-to-nurse ratios, nursing homes with desensitized staff members who are less likely to intervene and prevent abuse before it escalates, and ongoing conflicts that are likely to escalate if they are not diffused.
The Nursing Home’s Role in Preventing Abuse
When someone admits a family member to a nursing home, they are putting their loved one’s wellbeing in the hands of the care facility. By accepting the resident, the nursing home takes on certain duties to care for the resident and to oversee their safety. While not every incident can be prevented, nursing homes do have an affirmative duty to do what they can to ensure resident safety. If a nursing home does not provide the necessary level of supervision over its residents, and someone is hurt as a result, the nursing home may be liable for any of the injuries sustained.
Has Your Loved One Experienced Abuse While in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one living at a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that they may be the victim of abuse, whether at the hands of an employee of the home or of another resident, there may be a cause of action against the nursing facility in charge of your loved one’s care. Maryland nursing homes are notorious for a lack of supervision and, in some cases, neglect or abuse. This type of conduct cannot be tolerated but will often go unreported and unpunished unless the loved ones of residents speak up and demand action be taken. To learn more about what you can do for a loved one who has experienced nursing home abuse, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation with a dedicated Maryland nursing home abused attorney.
More Blog Posts:
Nurse Faces Criminal Charges for Abuse of Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 28, 2015.
Group of Nursing Homes Told They Cannot Force Arbitration by State Supreme Court, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published October 7, 2015.