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20 percent of nursing home abuse cases may be caused by neighbors

While there has been increased attention to the quality of care provided to nursing home residents over the past few years, a recent study has uncovered evidence that a significant portion of abuse cases may not even involve caregivers. Instead, it appears that a significant portion of nursing home abuse that residents endure could be caused by their neighbors living with them in the facility. Illinois readers may be interested in the statistic that as much as 20 percent of cases are a result of resident-on-resident abuse.

Researchers from Cornell reviewed resident-on-resident abuse reports for one month and included data from 10 nursing homes. These facilities were located in both suburban and urban areas. There were 2,011 residents involved in the study and researchers conducted interviews that included both nursing home employees and residents. The results of these interviews were analyzed along with supplemental abuse and observation reports.

At the conclusion of the study, researchers revealed that 407 residents were abused by other residents at least once during the previous four weeks. This number of victims is equivalent to just over 20 percent of nursing home residents. The study also uncovered a distressing level of abuse in nursing homes and revealed that efforts to reduce nursing home abuse typically focuses more on employee-to-resident abuse instead of resident-on-resident abuse.

The most common types of abuse involved verbal altercations. Other forms of abuse that occurred included physical and sexual abuse. The study found that the instances of abuse increased significantly during winter months or cold weather, perhaps because residents were forced into crowded living areas and not able to enjoy getting outside.

Whether abuse happens between residents or between residents and caregivers, any kind of abuse can have devastating effects on victims. Those in Illinois who suspect that a loved one is experiencing abuse in a nursing home or long-term care facility could benefit from contacting an attorney who focuses on nursing home abuse and neglect. An attorney who is well-versed in this area of law will work diligently on your loved one's behalf to pursue justice and other reparations.

Source: news.cornell.edu, "Nursing home residents commonly abused by neighbors", Heather Lindsey, June 23, 2016

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