When we send our loved ones to live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, we expect them to be safe from harm; however, one new study is showing this could be far from reality.
Researchers have shown as many as 1 in 5 nursing home patients are the victims of abuse and an unlikely culprit caused a majority of the harm. They examined the reports filed in more than 2,000 cases of nursing home abuse at 10 different facilities and found that instead of staff members being the ones accused of causing a patient harm, it was most often another patient responsible for the abuse.
Facilities with poor staff-to-patient ratios were found to have higher rates of abuse. Other factors that raised a patient’s chances of being abused or neglected included feuds with roommates and crowded conditions.
New America Media reports the profile of the abuser was also not quite what researchers had in mind. They concluded those who are most likely to harm another patient were younger individuals who were less cognitively impaired and suffered from a mood disorder.
So what can you do to protect yourself or a loved one from nursing home abuse? Norfolk personal injury attorney, Lowell Stanley, points out that taking the following actions can significantly reduce the chances of being harmed by a caregiver or fellow patient:
- Visit Often– Make a habit of routinely visiting your loved one where they’re staying.
- Ask Questions– Be sure to have all questions and concerns addressed by your loved one’s caregiver and the facility’s management.
- Know Your Rights– Speaking with an attorney can help you clarify any issues you may have surrounding a case of nursing home abuse or neglect.