Elder abuse in nursing homes has been a phenomenon that's difficult to track, though its frequency is worrying enough to publicize steps for prevention. Indeed, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 95% of care facility residents have felt neglected or seen a fellow resident neglected, while 44% reported some type of abuse.
A nursing home or care facility should be a place where elders not only receive proper medical attention, but also live without fear of assault or theft, both qualifying as elder abuse. The simple truth is that an elder care facility must provide a safe environment for its residents. When a senior citizen - one of our loved ones - is hurt in a care facility, the institution stands accountable for the wrongdoing.
For many senior citizens and the chronically sick, moving from nursing-home to in-home care is a preferable option when available. After all, we'd much rather be in a familiar, comfortable environment than in what can seem an impersonal medical facility. For this reason the shift to in-home care is quite understandable. Sadly, however, the opportunities for elder abuse and neglect also multiply in a home setting, as a recent article in The Atlantic makes evident. This comes down to one pivotal reason: a systemic lack of oversight to ensure patient safety and caregiver responsibility.
When we picture incidents of abuse at elder care facilities, we usually imagine wrongdoing committed by negligent or malicious staff, no matter how proportionally few they might be. Yet a newly-released study carried out by Cornell University on elder abuse in nursing homes contains some surprising and disturbing conclusions about where most abuse actually comes from: fellow residents of the care facility.