Nursing home abuse may take the form of middle school bullying

Most of us would probably prefer not to revisit our middle school experience, where social pressure and bullying were the laws of the land and popularity was perhaps the most precious commodity. According to a recent story, however, elderly residents of assisted living or nursing home facilities may be subject to this same environment, at a potential risk to their safety.

Specifically, nearly 20 percent of nursing home residents might experience verbal or physical abuse from other residents. The data, collected from a month-long study of over 2,000 nursing home residents in the state of New York, reported incidents covering a wide spectrum of behaviors. About 75 percent of the behaviors were verbal, such as name-calling or putting someone in psychological distress. Around 25 percent were physical incidents, such as being run over by a wheel chair, having food stolen off of one’s plate, violence, or sexual assault.

Nationwide, around 5 million Americans are victims of elder abuse or neglect each year. What’s even more troubling is that experts believe many more cases of elder mistreatment go unreported. One commentator recommends new training and protocol to nursing home staff. Instead of ignoring yelling and shouting, such behaviors from residents should be viewed as potential signs of abusive interactions.

Another immediate form of action available to concerned family members might be consulting an attorney that focuses on nursing home abuse. An attorney’s eye can be a valuable asset when investigating potential signs of elder abuse, even if it is hidden under administrative disguises. In our experience, we have found patterns, where one instance of abuse may uncover systemic problems. Our law firm has the resources and expertise to fight for your rights and protect elderly loved ones from further abuse or neglect.

Source: CBS News, “Nursing home abuse common, but from an unlikely source,” Mary Brophy Marcus, June 15, 2016

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