When you hear about abuse taking place at a nursing home, your first thought is probably to assume a resident was abused by a nursing home staff member, and rightfully so. It is more common that abusers are staff workers, but it isn’t uncommon that abusers could be other residents. Unfortunately, this type of nursing home abuse in Florida and nationwide is occurring far too often, and it is known as elder on elder abuse or resident on resident abuse.
Elder on Elder Abuse Is Nursing Home Abuse
Many families of abused residents are confused about this type of abuse. Once they learn that their mother or father has been physically or sexually abused at the hands of another patient, they aren’t sure how to press charges or how to go about seeking justice for the wrongs that occurred to their loved one.
Because older people living in nursing homes are vulnerable elders, nursing homes and their workers are supposed to keep them safe. This means nursing homes should have enough staff to protect residents from other residents.
So that nursing home residents aren’t susceptible to abuse, nursing home workers should be doing the following things:
- Walking the grounds and listening and looking for suspicious activity
- Keeping an even closer eye on dementia patients and residents with disabilities
- Checking patients on a regular basis
- Asking patients about noticeable marks on their bodies or injuries
If nursing homes are doing these aforementioned things, they may be able to prevent elder on elder abuse from occurring in the first place, or at least putting a stop to it so that it isn’t repeated. What scary is that most nursing homes are understaffed. And what’s even more troubling is there have been accounts when staff knew one resident was abusing others and didn’t do anything to stop the abuse from occurring and didn’t report it.
While you might not think that could possibly happen at the nursing home where your loved one resides, elder to elder mistreatment is common in most nursing homes. According to a study by Cornell University-Weill Cornell Medical College, inappropriate behavior between nursing home residents is a growing issue with specific types of mistreatment to include:
- Verbal abuse, such as yelling, screaming and cursing at another person
- Physical abuse, such as kicking, hitting, biting another resident
- Sexual abuse, such as exposing one’s genitals, inappropriate touching of another resident, or attempting to gain sexual favors
All nursing home residents have the right to a safe environment. If your loved one has been abused by another resident, your family member can still seek justice for the wrongs he or she endured. To speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer in South Florida, call the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 for a free consultation today.