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Nursing Home Abuse: Who Is the Perpetrator?
We all dread making the difficult decision to place our elderly loved ones in a nursing home. Unfortunately, for some, as hard as this decision may be, it is inevitable. One of the main concerns most of us have in making the dreaded nursing home decision is the possibility of subjecting our loved ones to abuse.
Sadly, nursing home abuse happens all too often. Nursing home abuse encompasses many different types of abuse. Although the most common type of abuse is caused by the nursing home staff, a new research indicates that nearly 20 percent of incidents in nursing homes are part of an “epidemic of resident-to-resident hostile behavior.”
Resident-to-Resident Nursing Home Abuse
Residents in nursing homes don’t always get along with one another. According to researchers at Cornell University-Weill Cornell Medical College, 19.8 percent of residents in nursing homes who were surveyed admitted to having been subjected to “resident-to-resident elder mistreatment,” including verbal, physical or sexual abuse.
The Details of the Research
According to a New York Times article, the researchers at Cornell spent five years observing and interviewing more than 2,000 residents in 10 nursing homes. The research also included interviews of the staff and questionnaires given to both the residents and the staff members of the nursing home facilities.
The findings were startling. The nursing home residents reported that other elderly individuals residing in the same facility subjected them to:
Type of Mistreatment: Percentage:
– Verbal incidents (shouting, screaming, yelling) 16%
– Intrusions on privacy (unwelcome entry, going through items 10.5%
– Physical incidents (hitting, kicking, biting) 5.7%
– Sexual incidents (touching, exposing one’s genitals) 1.3%
Protecting Your Loved Ones In a Nursing Home
If you have made the difficult decision to place your elderly loved one in a nursing home facility, it is important to remain vigilant about the possibility of abuse. The signs of nursing home abuse, whatever type it may be, are often not apparent. The reason is that we do not live with our loved ones at the nursing home facility and thus it is easy to miss the signs of abuse.
With that said, there are steps you can take to prevent or reduce the likelihood of nursing home abuse. These steps include:
- Visiting your elderly loved one at the nursing home frequently
- Expressing any concerns you may have with your loved one
- Reporting your findings with the nursing home administrator or director
- Acting quickly if you believe your loved one is in imminent danger of abuse
- Educating yourself about the possibility of nursing home abuse
Call an Experienced New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you or someone you know has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you need to make it a priority to look for an experienced attorney who will work hard to help you seek the full damages from the parties responsible for your injuries. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a New Jersey nursing home abuse attorney, please call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.