When most people hear the phrase “nursing home abuse,” they typically envision a resident who is being physically or emotionally abused by a staff member. Though this does happen in nursing homes across the U.S., another type of abuse is just as common.
Resident-on-resident abuse occurs when one nursing home resident exhibits aggressive, harassing, and sometimes violent behavior toward another resident. This type of abuse can lead to serious consequences for the abused resident, including injuries, depression, anxiety, health deterioration, and a diminished quality of life.
Understanding Resident-on-Resident Abuse
A study cited by the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) found that aides in nursing homes reported high levels of resident-on-resident abuse. That abuse included verbal, physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.
Some of the results of the study include:
- 97% of nurse aides observed residents yelling at each other in the prior 3 months
- 94% of nurse aides observed residents pushing, grabbing, or pinching each other in the prior 3 months
- 91% of nurse aides observed aggressive behavior between residents in the prior 3 months
- 69% of nurse aides intervened with one resident taking another resident’s possessions
- 77% of nurse aides observed residents exposing their body parts to other residents
What Makes Resident-on-Resident Abuse More Likely
Abusive residents can be found in nearly any type of nursing home. However, a few factors make this type of abuse more likely:
- Understaffed nursing homes
- A high ratio of patients with cognitive impairments
- A high ratio of patients with dementia
- Nursing homes where patients with psychiatric disorders comingle with elderly patients
Liability for Nursing Home Abuse by Residents
Though the resident who harms another resident bears part of the responsibility, from a legal perspective, it’s the nursing home who failed to ensure the safety of its facility’s residents.
A nursing home’s staff should be watchful of resident behavior and do everything possible to protect elderly people from abuse, even from other residents in their care. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable for the damages the abused resident has suffered.
Ensuring the Health of Your Loved Ones
If you know that your loved one has been assaulted by another resident, you have the right to call the authorities, inform the nursing home, and contact an attorney to seek damages. This will protect your loved one from further harm and help get compensation for the harm they’ve suffered.
If you’re unsure whether your loved one is being abused, you should consider reaching out to an experienced nursing home lawyer. They can help you figure out your next steps to get your loved one in a safer situation and maximize your chances of getting compensation should you decide to file a lawsuit.
Need Legal Help? Contact Fieger Law!
The Michigan nursing home abuse lawyers at Fieger Law have been standing up for the rights of injured nursing home residents for decades, and we know what it takes to win these claims.
If you or a loved one needs legal help, you have an ally at Fieger Law. Don’t pay the price for a nursing home’s negligence. Let us fight for you; Contact our team today to schedule a free consultation.