When most of us think about nursing home abuse in San Bernardino County, we think about instances of physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, or even sexual abuse. Many people also know that passive neglect, which can result in serious resident harm, can lead to a nursing home abuse and neglect claim. Yet discussions about resident-to-resident abuse are less common. What should you know about resident-to-resident abuse in Southern California? The most important thing to know is that nursing homes have a duty to protect patients from injuries and to appropriately handle instances of abuse and neglect, even when the perpetrator is another resident. As such, similar to cases involving other forms of abuse, nursing homes may be liable for resident-to-resident abuse. Our San Bernardino nursing home abuse attorneys can provide you with more information.
Resident-to-Resident Mistreatment Can Take Many Forms
Resident-to-resident abuse or mistreatment is a form of nursing home abuse or neglect that is often overlooked. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), resident-to-resident abuse or mistreatment can be defined as “negative, often aggressive, interactions between residents in long-term care communities.” This type of abuse or mistreatment may include “physical, verbal, and sexual abuse,” and the NCEA emphasizes that it is “likely to cause emotional and/or physical harm.”
What does resident-to-resident mistreatment often look like? The NCEA cites the following as some common examples for which a nursing home or assisted living facility could ultimately be responsible:
- Conflicts between roommates at nursing homes or assisted living facilities;
- Residents invading the personal space or privacy of another resident;
- Another resident making verbal threats toward another resident or harassing another resident;
- Any unwanted sexual acts, including situations in which one resident sexually harasses or sexually assaults another resident;
- One resident using another resident’s personal property without that resident’s permission;
- One resident destroying the personal property of another resident; or
- Residents engaging in acts of physical violence against another resident, such as hitting, slapping, pushing, and other similar behaviors.
Other behaviors can also constitute resident-to-resident abuse.
Nursing Home Responsibilities Concerning Resident-to-Resident Abuse
As the NCEA emphasizes, resident-to-resident abuse often affects nursing home residents who suffer from dementia or another type of mental health issue. Yet even if the perpetrator has dementia or a mental health issue, the facility has a responsibility to protect residents from any form of abuse or mistreatment. Indeed, nursing home residents in California have rights, and when a nursing home fails to take steps to protect those rights, it may be liable for harm that occurs.
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), nursing home residents in California have rights concerning admission to facilities, quality of life, visitors, privacy, grievances, living accommodations, and quality care. More specifically, the CDPH cites the following as rights of residents in nursing homes, which are relevant to resident-to-resident abuse situations:
- Protection of money and possession;
- Freedom from abuse; and
- Free choice.
Contact a San Bernardino Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you have any questions about resident-to-resident abuse or filing a claim, you should get in touch with one of our San Bernardino nursing home abuse lawyers for assistance. Contact the Walton Law Firm today.
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