Nursing Home residents in the United States are becoming more vulnerable to abuse at the hands of patients that also reside at the facility. A recent Cornell University study reports that 20 percent of capable nursing facility residents were involved in an altercation with another resident within one four-week period.
Likewise, a University of Pittsburgh report found that six percent of assisted-living facility residents were victimized by a hostile patient, and four percent were harassed. There is a higher rate of abuse between patients at long-term care facilities with the lowest staffing levels, where administrators receive short tenure with less formal education, and patients with dementia live amongst those with physical disabilities.
Some Patients Are More Hostile
As our country’s population matures, weak and fragile patients may find themselves residing in long-term care facilities with individuals who are inflicted with many different behavior problems. Patients diagnosed with dementia, post-traumatic stress or brain injuries often have more difficulty controlling impulse and aggression. Unfortunately mentally ill citizens are often placed in facilities that are not fully trained to care for them. Even so, nursing homes everywhere in the country have a responsibility to save residents from being abused by both staff and other patients, as well as to protect them from all forms of assault.
Since so many nursing home workers are not sufficiently prepared to manage aggressive conduct, a disturbing incident may not be reported or dealt with before it worsens. In addition to evident physical harm, long-term care residents may also be victimized with traumatic sexual advances and abuse.
An elderly resident who undergoes sexual, physical, or emotional abuse may be entitled to recover compensatory and punitive damages from the nursing home, and shouldn’t have to endure the torment. It is important to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible after any suspected abuse is exposed. If your loved one was injured or wrongfully dies as a result of nursing abuse, you my eligible for financial recovery. Contact a compassionate and skilled nursing home personal injury at Murphy and Pressentin at 866-281-9559 to discuss your case in more detail. Our lawyers have years of experience standing for elderly and disabled victims of nursing home abuse.