Residents of nursing homes have both an expectation and the right to proper treatment, both by staff and by their fellow residents. Unfortunately, this right is frequently not met. As we’ve written in a previous blog, statistics show that medical negligence and malpractice in nursing homes is more common than one might think. A Congressional subcommittee study found that 30% of nursing homes in the U.S. were cited for instances of abuse. Another study conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse found 44% of nursing home residents surveyed had been abused.
Nursing home abuse is a serious problem in nursing homes in the United States. A lesser-known but no less important problem in nursing homes is resident on resident mistreatment. While the traditional picture of nursing home abuse is one of staff to resident, a new study revealed that resident on resident mistreatment is not uncommon.
The study, published by Weill Cornell Medical College and Cornell University, found that nearly 20% of nursing home residents suffered some form of mistreatment from another resident. The study looked at 10 randomly selected nursing homes in New York state for a four-week period and found that residents suffer a variety of mistreatment at the hands of other residents, including:
Verbal Incidents - 16% of residents
Unwelcome Entry into a Residents Room/Going Through a Residents Possessions - 10.5%
Physical Incidents - 5.7%
Sexual Incidents - 1.3%
The authors of the study state that resident on resident abuse often comes at the hands of residents who are "somewhat cognitively disabled" and that resident on resident abuse is under-reported.