When New Mexico families place elderly loved ones in nursing homes, they expect them to be taken care of and safe. Sadly, instances of resident-on-resident abuse occur in nursing homes. This is considered a problem of neglect.
Why resident-on-resident abuse happens
According to a study performed by Cornell University-Weill Cornell Medical College in 2014, it was found that many nursing home residents face abuse at the hands of their fellow residents. Instances of abuse can include verbal, physical or even sexual attacks. Some resident abusers even enter the rooms of victim residents uninvited. In some cases, resident-on-resident abuse can result in the death of the victim.
Many residents who perpetrate abuse against their peers have a cognitive impairment, specifically, dementia. These problems are supposed to be investigated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Unfortunately, many instances of resident-on-resident abuse go unreported. The families of the victims often don’t get answers and have to fight to hold those responsible accountable.
The true problem is nursing home neglect
When a nursing home resident with dementia attacks a fellow resident, it’s often viewed as a crime. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), these situations are considered aggression rather than crimes, and the resident doing the attacking should not be held accountable.
The true problem with these incidents is nursing home neglect. Residents with dementia require specialized care, which is often largely lacking due to a variety of reasons. For example, there may not be enough staff at the nursing home or staff is inadequately trained to properly care for such residents. Residents with dementia cannot be considered responsible for their actions due to their cognitive impairment.
Nursing homes have a duty to keep their residents safe. If resident-on-resident attacks occur, the nursing home is liable for any damages.