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1 in 5 Long-Term Residents Face Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse a Problem for 1 in 5 Long-Term Residents, Study Shows

long-term residentFamilies struggle to find the best option for elderly loved ones. While many attempt to remain at home, with spouses gone or children far away, it becomes difficult for families to manage the care of aging parents or grandparents. Sometimes, in-home care is an option, but for many senior citizens with chronic health problems, nursing homes are the only option for their final years. Unfortunately, this means that many long-term residents are vulnerable to nursing home abuse.

In fact, a study shows that 1 in 5 nursing home long-term residents has suffered nursing home abuse. Nursing home workers are too often overworked and undertrained, and with many long-term residents in close confines, abusers could also be a roommate, a member of the administrative staff, or a patient from another part of the facility.

Researchers at Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medical College collaborated on the study of patient-based nursing home abuse. This is the first study of nursing home abuse among residents, rather than abuse of elderly patients from caregivers or nursing aides. The group examined 2,011 individuals at 10 different nursing homes, and used not only interviews with residents but reports from nursing staff and officially filed complaints with agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services.

The incidents catalogued involved everything from rummaging through another resident’s possessions, to physical or sexual assault. The researchers found that such cases of nursing home abuse were so common in long-term skilled nursing facilities that “staff members seem almost unaware”

“Nursing home care is essential for some older Americans; these are very necessary institutions and often very caring institutions,” said lead researcher Karl Pillemer. “So it may come as a surprise that we found such high rates of conflict and violence. It’s very likely that the consequences of resident-to-resident mistreatment are severe, leading to lacerations, bruises and fractures. The residents’ frailty makes these altercations more dangerous.”

“The amount of residents each staff member has to care for relates to the rate of abuse,” Pillemer added. “These are more active and mobile residents who are more likely to be in harm’s way. They tend to be younger, less cognitively impaired, more likely to have mood disorders and more likely to be in a memory care unit.”

The research team hopes to examine abuse rates at assisted living facilities in their next study.

The Strom Law Defends Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect for Long-Term Residents

Nursing home abuse and neglect cases can be difficult to establish because of a widespread tendency by insurance adjusters, physicians, among others, to discount an elderly person’s injuries and the diminished quality of life that results from these damages.

If your loved one has physically suffered, or died wrongfully, due to neglect or abuse in a nursing home, you may have a nursing home abuse case. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the sensitive nature of long-term resident elderly abuse cases, and will treat you with respect and compassion. It is important to fight elder abuse so you, your family, and others no longer suffer because of criminal behavior. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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