When families consider moving a loved one into a nursing home, many are concerned that he or she may suffer neglect or abuse from the staff. But what families may not consider is the treatment a loved one may receive from other residents. A recent study found that one of every five residents experience some form of aggression from other residents every month. This can lead to serious injury and in extreme cases, even death.
Researchers from the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City surveyed about 2,000 people living in 10 skilled nursing facilities in New York State. They found that inappropriate, disruptive and hostile behavior between residents was surprisingly common. The offenses ranged from merely irritating to physically threatening. Here is what researchers found:
-Nearly 6 percent of residents were involved in hitting, kicking or biting
-16 percent of the cases were in the form of verbal abuse including screaming or cursing at people
-Less than 2 percent exposed their genitals or made unwanted sexual advances
-More than 10 percent of residents experienced “unwelcome entry into another resident’s room or going through another resident’s possessions.” This seems harmless, but researchers say it’s the type of behavior that can lead to angry physical response from the person who is intruded upon.
-There were various other instances of scratching, spitting and throwing things.
Of course, this can be difficult for nursing home staff to regulate, but researchers found that the places that reported more incidents share similar characteristics, including:
-The nursing home is more crowded and has less private space. This forced more unwanted reactions.
-Understaffing and low staff-to-residents ratios
-Staff members became so desensitized that they began to view aggressive behavior as normal
-Ongoing conflicts were more likely to be unresolved, and being around the hostility stressed out other residents
The residents more likely to be involved in these conflicts also had similar characteristics. While some residents were older, most tend to be relatively younger – usually mobile and physically able – and suffer from dementia or other mental illness.
Staff can address confused behavior with regular checks on difficult residents and by learning how to gently handle residents who are in the wrong place or doing the wrong thing. The patience of nursing home staff members is key.
If your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home, fill out the ‘Do I Have a Case Form’ on our website. Our experienced Phoenix personal injury attorneys in Arizona have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened and how it has changed your lives. Get the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered. Call 480-991-7677 to set up a free initial consultation.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.