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Nursing home abuse by residents

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

When we consider placing a loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, one of our last concerns are other residents. However, a recent study shines light on a commonly overlooked area of nursing home abuse; resident on resident abuse.

According to the study, one in every five residents has endured some type of resident on resident abuse. From minor conflict to physical altercations, residents are speaking out against this unnoticed threat. Researchers at Cornell Medical College surveyed 2,000 nursing home residents from 10 different New York care facilities and found that resident to resident conflict was actually quite common.

An alarming 16 percent of residents experienced some type of verbal abuse, with roughly 6 percent having been involved in some type of physical altercation. The survey also revealed that a low 2 percent of residents experienced conflict that was sexual in nature, and over 10 percent found other residents rifling through their belongings. While these numbers don’t necessarily do the threat justice, an unrecorded number of residents admitted to instances of scratching and spitting by others.

Although there have been reports of abuse and neglect by staff members in the past, the threat of resident abuse is more common and very real. Serious cases of neglect and abuse by staff members is a somewhat rare occurrence, but resident on resident abuse is happening every day.

If you are considering long-term care for your loved one, knowing the threats they may face while a resident is important for their safety and protection. If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect by staff members or fellow residents, speaking to a trusted attorney can help.

Source:, “Resident-on-resident abuse is common problem at nursing homes,” Melinda Miller, Oct. 2, 2015

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