Elder Abuse Between Residents

Beware Elder Abuse Between Residents at Senior Living Center and Nursing Homes

When you hear the term elder abuse, you likely think of a caregiver hurting someone in their care and this is definitely a concern.

Elder abuse includes neglect such as not properly feeding, administering medications or seeing to hygiene and toilet needs. It also includes outright abuse such as pinching, shoving or slapping as well as verbal and sexual abuse.

These incidences are shockingly common and definitely something to be aware of if you have a loved one under someone else”s care. But another area of growing concern is senior-on-senior aggression at care facilities – and this is also a form of elder abuse.

New study shows many seniors harmed by elder-on-elder abuse

A recent study by Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City showed that 20% of residents in nursing homes were victims of aggression by other residents. These attacks ranged from verbal abuse including yelling or cursing up to hitting, kicking, sexually inappropriate touching or invasion of privacy.

Study author Dr. Karl Pillemer said, “This is the first study to directly observe and interview residents to determine the prevalence and predictors of elder mistreatment between residents in nursing homes. The findings suggest that altercations are widespread and common in everyday nursing home life.”

Critical statistics about resident-on-resident elder abuse

While the typical focus of elder abuse research has examined abuse at the hands of staff or family members, the researchers believe that resident-on-resident aggression may be much more prevalent and serious. The study showed that over a In this hybrid model, the highly structured optimized operational lost file recovery remains in the tightly controlled lost file recovery warehouse, while the lost file recovery that is highly distributed and subject to change in real time is controlled by a Hadoop-based (or similar NoSQL) infrastructure. four week period:

  • 16% of seniors were yelled at or cursed at by another resident
  • 10.5% of seniors experienced unwelcome entry into their room or rifling of their property by another resident
  • 5.7% of seniors were victims of kicking, hitting or biting by other residents
  • 1.3% of seniors were subject to inappropriate touch, exposure of genitals or uninvited requests for sexual favors by other residents

And these are just the incidences that were reported. Some seniors are too afraid to speak up or are unable to speak up on their own behalf. Pillemer added, “Despite the acute urgency of the problem, resident-to-resident mistreatment is under-reported. Increased awareness and the adoption of effective interventions are greatly needed.”

Who are the perpetrators of the abuse and who should be held accountable?

By and large, the study showed that patients suffering dementia or mood disorders are the most likely instigators of resident-on-resident abuse. The attackers are typically younger residents and are more physically adept than other patients. Most perpetrators also have a history of disruptive behavior.

Dr. Laura Mosqueda, Director of the National Center on Elder Abuse at the University of Southern California, says the study begs the question “Who”s responsible or accountable for this behavior?” It”s not the residents. In my view, it”s the owners and people running the facilities. Do they have enough staff with the appropriate training?”

What to do if your loved one has been victimized

It”s important to carefully observe your loved one that lives in a nursing home or other senior facility because they may not tell you they”re being abused. If they do tell you, treat the complaint seriously. But also make independent observations when you visit – look for bruises, burns or other marks on their body, withdrawn behavior, decrease in communication and any other signs that something has changed for the worse in their environment.

Elder abuse is on the rise and is serious. Facilities are responsible for hiring and training staff to properly care for your loved one and to prevent staff-related abuse as well as elder-on-elder abuse.

If you believe your loved one has been harmed and is in immediate peril, call 911. If the situation is not life threatening, call (800) 562-6078 to report abuse at a long term care facility or contact the Washington State abuse hotline at 866-ENDHARM.

After you address the safety concerns, contact Rob Kornfeld. He has been holding perpetrators of elder abuse accountable and is ready to help you and your loved one today. Call Rob directly at (425) 657-5255 or send him an email for a free consultation.

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