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Resident to Resident Nursing Home Abuse: What You Need to Know 

Resident to Resident Nursing Home Abuse: What You Need to Know 

If your elderly family member is transitioning into a long-term care facility, you may be concerned about the possibility of them enduring nursing home abuse. Sadly, nursing home residents tend to see the most abuse from an unexpected source: other residents.

In a long-term care community setting, resident-to-resident abuse refers to physically, sexually, or verbally aggressive interactions between residents that are undesirable or harmful to the recipient. Abuse from one resident to another could cause their victims physical or psychological harm. Facilities that provide nursing care may be held liable when residents abuse each other. 

What Resident-to-Resident Abuse Looks Like

The issue of nursing home neglect and elder abuse has received much attention in the last two decades or so. Until recently, the attention has been focused on family members and even nursing home staff, but due to the revelations of abuse that have emerged in these areas, addressing nursing home abuse between residents has become even more urgent.

Abuse among residents occurs in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Intimidation, harassment, or bullying
  • Threatening, cursing, and yelling
  • Destruction of property or throwing items
  • Kicking, biting, and hitting
  • Invading a private area without authorization
  • Theft or an attempt to steal 
  • Inappropriate sexual advances
  • Sexually assaulting or touching another person

People who are weaker or have some sort of cognitive or debilitating condition tend to be at greater risk of becoming victims of resident-to-resident abuse. Generally, they are women in their eighties or older, but some men are victims as well. In addition, perpetrators tend to be seniors who have dementia, an addiction, or other psychiatric illnesses because they are more likely to exhibit verbally abusive behavior triggered by the symptoms of the diseases.

How to Identify Resident-to-Resident Abuse? 

Recognizing and reporting common indicators of abuse or neglect is key to reporting resident-to-resident abuse. Resident-to-resident abuse typically manifests the same physical and cognitive problems as other forms of abuse. The following warning signs should alert you:

  • Injury to the body
  • Lack of self-esteem
  • Isolation 
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • No desire to eat or drink 
  • Changes in sleeping pattern 
  • Inability to carry out daily tasks

In a case of resident-to-resident abuse, minor to severe outcomes may result, such as a victim suffering a broken bone or deep lacerations. Additionally, the quality of life for victims may be negatively impacted. If your elderly loved one shows any of these or other changes in behavior, you should act immediately.

How to Protect Elders From Resident-to-Resident Abuse 

Taking the time to visit your aging relatives, asking questions about their lives, and observing their living situation are the most effective ways to protect them. You should speak with them about their fellow residents; if they seem hesitant to speak about particular residents or seem stressed around them, you may need to intervene. Next, you should engage with nursing home staff. Inquire about their efforts to prevent or reduce cases of resident-to-resident abuse in the facility.

Taking care of elderly residents means protecting them from abuse of any form. If the facility fails to accommodate its residents’ needs and does nothing to curb abuse among residents, it may be time to consult an attorney.

Contact an NYC Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today

Even though resident-to-resident mistreatment goes mostly unnoticed, it is still a serious matter that must not be ignored. Nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys can help you prove the negligence or abuse against your loved one in an NYC nursing home. At Dalli & Marino, we maintain extensive experience handling nursing home negligence cases. We will put this knowledge to good use to help you or your loved one obtain adequate compensation for your losses.

Contact our NYC nursing home abuse attorneys if you believe that your loved one is being abused by nursing home staff or fellow residents. Please call (888) 465-8790 or complete our online contact form to discuss your case today.

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