Nursing Home Resident-on-Resident Attacks Becoming More Frequent
Posted on behalf of Arnold Law Firm on Oct 13, 2015 in Nursing Home Abuse
According to a recent report from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, one out of every five nursing home residents will be the victim of abuse inflicted by another resident. As if that wasn't startling enough, the report also concluded that these resident-on-resident attacks happen on a monthly basis.
Much like any other violent attack, nursing home resident-on-resident attacks can cause serious physical harm that can be potentially life-threatening. In fact, several deaths are caused by resident-on-resident abuse in nursing homes each year.
Although severe attacks among nursing home residents are uncommon, their frequency is on the rise, along with many other forms of resident-on-resident abuse.
Resident-on-Resident Abuse Statistics
Doctors studied over 2,000 residents in 10 skilled nursing facilities throughout New York State to observe inappropriate, disruptive, or aggressive behavior between residents. At the end of the study, the doctors compiled a report which included the following statistics:
- Over 5 percent of all nursing home residents hit, kicked, or bit another resident.
- 16 percent of all residents became verbally abusive or cursed at another resident.
- A small number of residents exposed themselves while making unwanted sexual advances toward other residents.
The report also concluded that roughly 200 of the residents had experienced another resident wandering into their room on a daily basis. An incident such as this may not appear noteworthy; however, when a resident wanders into another residents room unexpectedly, it can often escalate into an altercation between the two residents.
It can be difficult to distinguish aggressors from victims in the majority of resident-on-resident abuse incidents, because many nursing home residents are cognitively impaired to some degree.
Resident-on-Resident Abuse Risk Factors
Its important to be aware of several factors that can escalate into resident-on-resident attacks. The most common situations are:
- Crowded living conditions with limited personal space.
- Nursing homes that are chronically under-staffed with low staff-to-resident ratios.
- Residents who habitually dislike each other not being separated by staff on a consistent basis.
- Staff members who have become desensitized to abusive behaviors.
Additionally, residents who are most likely to initiate an attack on another resident are those who suffer from dementia or other mental illness, yet still have the physical strength and ability to attack.
If someone you love is in a nursing home and has suffered abuse at the hands of another nursing home resident, contact the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers at The Arnold Law Firm today. We can help your loved one get the justice they deserve.