Nursing home abuse is a subject many of us find very uncomfortable. Elder abuse and neglect is a serious problem throughout the country. Unfortunately, elder care in America is not as good as it should be for all our senior citizens.
While we would like to close our eyes and avoid dealing with the subject, we must bring nursing home abuse into the light so that we can protect our elderly. We must hold nursing homes and their staff members accountable when there is a breach of the duty of care. This duty includes allowing abuse by other residents.
How Big Is the Problem?
Cornell University published findings from a study regarding abuse between nursing home residents. Researchers found that one in five nursing home residents in the study committed at least one aggressive or negative action toward another resident in the previous four weeks. Acts committed by residents against other residents included physical abuse, invasion of privacy, verbal abuse, and inappropriate sexual behavior. The acts are referred to as “resident-to-resident elder mistreatment.” Regardless of how you categorize the abuse, abuse is still abuse.
According to Dr. Karl Pillemer, “The findings suggest that these altercations are widespread and common in everyday nursing home life. Despite the acute urgency of the problem, resident-to-resident mistreatment is underreported. Increased awareness and the adoption of effective interventions are greatly needed.” It seems clear that nursing homes are not addressing the problem of resident-to-resident abuse.
Resident-To-Resident Abuse Results in Death
In a tragic story out of southern Kentucky, one nursing home resident killed another resident. NBC News reported in February that a man known as “The Reverend” had been charged with the murder of a 71-year-old resident, Gary Glueck, at Scottsville Manor nursing home.
The Reverend, formerly known as Robert Reynolds, was also a resident of Scottsville Manor at the time of the assault. WBKO reported that the death was the result of asphyxiation by strangulation and that the victim had puncture wounds in his neck. It appears that The Reverend used a lamp cord to kill Glueck.
Most abuse between nursing home residents does not rise to this level; however, abuse is still abuse. Abuse among nursing home patients can take many forms. Patients can abuse other patients verbally, physically, sexually, emotionally, and financially. Regardless of the type or severity of abuse, nursing home abuse should not be allowed, even between residents.
What Can Be Done About the Problem?
Nursing homes have a duty to protect their residents, even from each other. Staff should be trained to recognize the signs of abuse between residents and what to do when abuse is suspected. If a nursing home fails to take steps to prevent abuse by other residents, the nursing home should be held liable for its negligence in breaching its duty of care.
If you have questions about nursing home abuse, our Lexington nursing home abuse attorneys are here to help. Residents in nursing homes deserve the best care possible, including a safe living environment. We want to help families protect their loved ones and seek justice when their loved ones are the victims of abuse.
Contact a Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Attorney For More Information
Contact the Shelton Law Group by telephone at 1-888-761-7204 or use our online contact form to request a free consultation with one of our Lexington nursing home abuse attorneys. Help bring nursing home abuse into the forefront. Report abuse and neglect and then taking steps to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.