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A Common, but Surprising Cause of Nursing Home Violence and Abuse

When most people think of nursing home abuse, their mind goes to incites images of misconduct by staffers. When these stories are in the news, they typically involve tales of misconduct from the employees who are tasked with taking care of the elderly residents. These stories often expose negligence resulting from poor training or malicious behavior on the part of those employed by the facilities.

There is another cause of nursing home violence that is perhaps even more common than that which involves caretakers; however, the fact that this form of abuse often goes untold makes it a surprise to many. Unfortunately, many acts of nursing home abuse involve bullying by other nursing home residents.

Up to one in five nursing home residents are abused by fellow residents

A recent study published by the Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care found that as many as 20 percent of elderly residents who live in nursing homes have been subjected to mistreatment as a result of the words or actions of their neighbors. According to the study, which viewed more than 2000 nursing home residents, more than 400 residents were the victims of abuse by fellow residents. The majority of these acts tend to involve verbal assaults, including name-calling. The remaining abuse is physical in nature. According to the study, physical acts of abuse include:

· Sexual assault

· Physical violence, such as being run over by a wheelchair

· Stealing food or personal belongings

Clearly, nursing home facilities must do more to minimize these acts of assault. According to the authors of the study, creating a more welcoming environment could reduce stress on nursing home residents, especially those with dementia. More lighting and less noise could soothe patients and make people less likely to act out. Without protection, anyone's parents or grandparents could become victims.

If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect of any kind, our team at Williams Newman Williams PLLC can help you examine your options and guide you through any potential legal process that may lie ahead. Based in Jackson, our law firm works with families across Mississippi.