Family members of nursing home residents must be vigilant, not only in keeping an eye on nursing home employees, but also looking out for resident on resident abuse and attacks. Recently, Reuters Health commissioned a research study examining over 2000 nursing home residents. The study found that more than 400 residents had been involved in at least one incident where another resident attacked or abused them. More than a quarter of these incidents involve physical attacks such as punching, kicking, or sexual assaults by other nursing home residents.
Dr. Mark Lacks is a researcher at Cornell Medicine and is also the director of geriatrics at New York Presbyterian Healthcare System. Dr. Lacks believes that much of the personal aggression cases in nursing homes stem from the fact that many residents in this type of nursing home environment suffer from dementia and Alzheimer's. These kind of residents, who would not otherwise be violent, can attack other residents due to their underlying mental health conditions.
Unfortunately, many nursing homes in the United States are ill equipped to handle demented nursing home residents who pose a threat to fellow residents. It is the legal responsibility of the nursing home to ensure that its residents are safe from harm. This includes protecting nursing home patients from harming themselves and from harming other residents. As Florida nursing home abuse attorneys, we regularly encounter cases involving one nursing home resident beating another nursing home resident, raping a fellow nursing home patient, or stealing a nursing home resident's belongings. The Reuters study agrees with this. The article states that often, nursing home staff may not have adequate training to deal with older adults with cognitive and psychiatric issues like dementia, depression, and delirium, said Dr. XinQi Dong, a researcher in aging at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and coauthor of an accompanying editorial. The researchers also stated that a facility may be more dangerous if it feels overcrowded with many residents and not enough staff to supervise those residents.
Nursing Home Resident on Resident Attacks; What Now?
If your family member was attacked by another resident in a nursing home, you should speak with a nursing home abuse attorney immediately. Take action by investigating the potential nursing home negligence for failing to supervise at risk patients.
Call us now for free consultation at 561-316-7207.