New Study on Elder Abuse Reveals Cause for Concern

The first study to look at the scope of negative aggression between residents of U.S. nursing homes has found that almost one in five people who live in these facilities are involved in such encounters within a four-week period. The study finds that 19.8 percent of residents at 10 nursing homes were affected by resident-to-resident mistreatment in a four-week period. Here is the breakdown, with some people involved in more than one type of event:

  • 16%           Verbal abuse, such as cursing, screaming, or yelling
  • 5.7%          Physical attacks, such as hitting, kicking, or biting
  • 1.3%          Sexual incidents, such as exposure, touching, or trying to gain favors
  • 10.5%        Invasive behavior, including unwelcome entry or handling someone’s possessions

Now, researchers say that such injuries are often inflicted not by overworked health aides, but by a seemingly harmless roommate, or someone living just down the hall. The first study to look at the scope of negative aggression between residents of U.S. nursing homes has found that almost one in five people who live in these facilities are involved in such encounters within a four-week period. These invasive, disruptive, or hostile incidents — from something so mild as rummaging through a fellow resident’s belongings to outright physical or sexual assault — are so common at long-term care facilities that “staff members seem almost unaware” that it’s a problem, said lead author Karl Pillemer, a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and Cornell University.

RecommendationsWhen looking for an appropriate care facility for your loved one, it is more important than ever to try and obtain information to ensure they will be safe and free from disruptive behavior.  The study found that staffing levels make a difference.  The amount of residents each staff member has to care for relates to the rate of abuse.  Therefore, it is important to make sure to inquire about staffing levels throughout the day and night and compare this ratio to other facilities.  If your loved one currently resides in a facility, you should always make inquiries about unexplained bruises or cuts.  The impact of abuse upon the elderly can be severe.  Research shows that victims of elder abuse are three times more likely to be admitted to a hospital, and four times more likely to land in a nursing home.

In light of the new study and its findings, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced Las Vegas elder law attorneys at 702-798-4955 for an evaluation of appropriate assisted care for your loved one.

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