Study: 1 in 5 Nursing Home Residents Is Abused

A new study finds that 19.8 percent of residents at 10 nursing homes were affected by resident-to-resident mistreatment in a four-week period. Here is the breakdown, with some people involved in more than one type of event:

  • 16 percent: Verbal abuse, such as cursing, screaming, or yelling.
  • 5.7 percent: Physical attacks, such as hitting, kicking, or biting.
  • 1.3 percent: Sexual incidents, such as exposure, touching, or trying to gain favors.
  • 10.5 percent: Invasive behavior, including unwelcome entry or handling someone’s possessions.

Now, researchers say that such injuries are often inflicted not by overworked health aides, but by a seemingly harmless roommate, or someone living just down the hall. The first study to look at the scope of negative aggression between residents of U.S. nursing homes has found that almost one in five people who live in these facilities are involved in such encounters within a four-week period. These invasive, disruptive, or hostile incidents — from something so mild as rummaging through a fellow resident’s belongings to outright physical or sexual assault — are so common at long-term care facilities that “staff members seem almost unaware” that it’s a problem, said lead author Karl Pillemer, a professor at Weill Cornell Medical College and Cornell University. The study results were made public at the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America. They provide new insight into the lives of almost 1.4 million nursing home residents in the United States, more than 72,000 of them in Florida.

Source/more: Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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