Study: Nursing Home Abuse Among Residents Is Prevalent

Nursing Home Abuse

Many of us already realize that nursing home abuse is a serious problem that’s likely to get worse in the coming years.  Many of us have also been forced to deal with the realities of nursing home abuse because a loved one has been harmed.  When we think of nursing home abuse, many of us tend to think of an employee of a facility mistreating a resident.  While that’s one form of nursing home abuse, it’s hardly the only way this happens.  According to a study that was recently released, abuse that occurs between residents is quite prevalent, perhaps more so than was previously thought.  Our efforts to alert the public of potential dangers faced by people during National Safety Month continue with a look at this troubling study.

About the Study

The study was published recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine.  A link to the abstract of the study can be found here.  The researchers looked at five urban and five suburban nursing homes in New York.  These facilities were randomly selected as were the more than 2,000 residents.  Residents and staff members were asked about incidents of abuse that had occurred within the previous 30 days.  What they found was that over 20 percent of residents had experienced some form of abuse from other residents during that time frame.  Specifically, the types of abuse broke down as follows:

  • Verbal abuse – 9.1 percent
  • Invasion of privacy/menacing gestures – 5.3 percent
  • Physical abuse – 5.2 percent
  • Sexual abuse – 0.6 percent

That means that approximately 400 residents had experienced some form of abuse within the previous 30 days. If those numbers are accurate, it could mean that as many as 20 percent of the estimated 1.4 million nursing home residents in the United States are abused in some way every month.  That’s 280,000 people.  Of course, it’s long been known that these types of incidents are underreported by those who suffer, mostly for fear of retribution.  As such, 280,000 nursing home residents being abused by other residents could represent the “best-case” scenario, such as it is.

The study further found the following:

  • Abuse from other residents was more prevalent in dementia units.
  • Abuse was more probable when a resident was being cared for by a nurse with a large case load.
  • Abuse was most likely to occur during the afternoon hours.
  • Abuse was most likely to occur in residents’ rooms.
  • There was no real difference in abuse between urban and suburban facilities.

These are obviously findings that should lead to some action from those who can affect change.  In some cases, those who can affect change are the loved ones of residents who are being abused.

Affect Change With a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

If you suspect that a loved one is being abused or otherwise mistreated in a nursing home, you need to act on your instincts.  If you’re unsure of what to do, seek the help of a San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer who understands how to stand up for those who need protection.  Contact Gomez Trial Attorneys today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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