If you believe that nursing home abuse only occurs by caregivers (nurses, doctors, etc.), you are not alone. Most people share this belief, but resident-to-resident violence is a common cause of nursing home injuries and death.
Generally, nursing homes protect your elderly loved ones from all forms of abuse. However, resident-to-resident violence can fall through the cracks.
How does no one notice this type of abuse?
Many nursing home residents will not tell on another patient that harms them. Perhaps it is due to fear of retaliation or not wanting to be a bother to the staff. They may say that they got that bruise on their cheek from bumping into an object or a door.
In other situations, it is possible that the staff knows about the abuse and tries to address it within the facility. Most nursing homes do not want or appreciate the attention they might receive if they formally report resident-to-resident violence.
Is residential violence a form of nursing home neglect?
Yes, it is in many situations. Those that work in nursing homes must protect frail or vulnerable residents from harm. For example, if they know a patient acts out violently, they are obligated to supervise that person around other residents.
A one-time incident is one thing (and should be addressed!), but if resident-to-resident violence continues, it is almost certainly a case of nursing home neglect.
If you suspect your elderly family member is suffering from abuse or neglect in their nursing home, seek more information about your legal options. Increasing your knowledge of nursing home abuse laws can help you find a solution while improving your loved one’s safety.