More than three million American adults currently live in nursing homes
and other long-term care facilities. Unfortunately, as many as one in
three may fall victim to elder abuse.
According to a recent study, the perpetrators of the abuse are often fellow
residents. Researchers at Weill Cornell Medicine estimated that approximately
20 percent of nursing home residents have experienced verbal or physical
mistreatment from other residents.
reported by CBS News, the researchers conducted a month-long surveillance study at 10 urban
and suburban nursing homes in New York State. Of the 2,011 residents who
were studied, 407 experienced at least one instance of mistreatment, which
ranged from verbal abuse to sexual assault. Overall, three-quarters of
the events were verbal and one-quarter were physical, according to the
study's lead author, Dr. Mark Lachs.
elder abuse findings are a sad reminder that loved ones must do their research when selecting
a facility. When assessing a nursing home, it is particularly important
to ask questions. Below are several areas that should be addressed:
Are the nursing home and the current administrator licensed? The nursing home and its administrator should be licensed by the State
of California to operate.
Does the home conduct background checks on all staff? California regulations require nursing homes to obtain a state background
check on all employees.
Does the home have special services units? Some nursing homes have special service units like rehabilitation, Alzheimer's,
and hospice. Learn if there are separate waiting periods or facility guidelines
for when residents would be moved on or off the special unit.
Does the facility have nursing home abuse prevention training? The nursing home’s training programs should educate employees about
how to recognize resident abuse and neglect, how to deal with aggressive
or difficult residents, and how to deal with the stress of caring for
so many needs. Clear procedures should be in place to identify events
or trends that might lead to abuse and neglect, and on how to investigate,
report, and resolve your complaints.
In addition to the core factors listed above, it is important to observe
the quality of life and quality of care that the facility provides. For
instance, do the staff members appear responsive to the needs of the nursing
home residents? Does the nursing home facility allow family participation
in the resident’s care plan?
If you or someone you love has fallen victim to elder abuse or nursing
home negligence, don’t hesitate to contact
a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage
for a free consultation.