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Resident-To-Resident Nursing Home Harassment: What You Need to Know

Nursing homes are often considered safe havens for elderly residents who require care due to their age or health issues. Unfortunately, some nursing homes are plagued by abuse and neglect. In these situations, families are left wondering whether they should report the situation to authorities.

When a nursing home resident experiences harassment or abuse from another resident, it is important to take immediate action. If you suspect someone is being mistreated at a nursing home, contact local law enforcement immediately. Here are some things to know about resident-to-resident nursing home harassment and what to do about it.

Elder Abuse is a Crime Whether Committed By Staff or Fellow Residents

Nursing homes have been around for centuries, but the number of elderly people living in them has increased dramatically in recent decades. As a result, there has been an increase in the number of cases of abuse and neglect in nursing homes. Researchers have uncovered many different types of abuse and neglect, including physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and psychological.

The unfortunately reality of this crime is that those at the greatest risk of becoming a victim are residents who are frail and cognitively more vulnerable than their neighbors. Abuse or harassment from a fellow resident is possible, especially if the other residents have certain medical conditions.

Seniors who have early dementia are more likely than others to engage in verbally abusive behavior when they exhibit the symptoms of their disease, which include aggressive behavior, verbal outbursts, and other forms of verbal abuse.

Some of the most common resident-on-resident crimes that have been reported in nursing homes are:

  • Yelling, screaming, or cursing
  • Physical altercations involving kicking, biting, and punching
  • Snooping in another person’s room without their permission
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Financial exploitation

If you think your loved one is facing abuse at the hands of another resident, it’s crucial that you contact a legal professional as soon as possible.

Signs of Resident-To-Resident Harassment or Abuse

Victims often feel ashamed, embarrassed, and guilty about what happened. They may not even realize that they are being abused until someone else points it out to them. If you suspect your loved one is being abused, you should talk to him/her about it. You might also consider getting help from a counselor or therapist. Some signs of resident-to-resident harassment and abuse include:

  • Increase in anxiety
  • Changes in sleep patterns, appetite, and energy levels
  • Unexplained bruises, particularly around the thighs, buttocks, breasts, and arms
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Withdrawing from social activities and family visitations

Nursing homes have a responsibility to identify mistreatment between residents. Abuse victims are less likely to have the capacity to communicate, so any time they report an incident, it should be taken very seriously and reported to the Adult Protective Services agency in the state. Other residents may be helpful in identifying abusive behavior. Nursing homes should implement programs to encourage reporting of abusive incidents, whether done so anonymously or not.

The best thing you can do for your loved one is to talk to them. You can also help them financially by taking over their finances. If someone else comes into the room, check in with them. Make sure they are not doing anything inappropriate. Your loved one can still enjoy a high quality of life even if they are living in a nursing home.

Contact a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today

Elder abuse and neglect by staff is a serious issue that affects many families. Elderly abuse and neglect by caregivers are often overlooked because it is not always obvious. Abuse and neglect may occur at any time during the life of an elderly person. It can happen in the home, in a hospital, in a nursing home, or in other settings.

If you suspect a loved one is being harassed or abused by another resident, you can contact Dalli & Marino, LLP to take legal action. Our elder abuse lawyers will work with you to find a solution. For more information about elder abuse cases involving assisted living and/or nursing home care, contact us online or call (888) 465-8790. We also speak Spanish.

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