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Lack of protection might lead to nursing home injury

A university study has claimed that residential violence is on the rise in some assisted-living establishments, particularly in places where staff numbers are low and the educational level of staff is considered lacking. Those in Hawaii who are planning to move a loved one into a nursing home may want to investigate the issue further before choosing a facility because of the rise in violence. For example, one female resident suffered a nursing home injury in Feb. 2013 when another patient gained access to her room.

The 80-year-old woman in the above case was lying in her bed when a 77-year-old male who allegedly suffered from dementia is said to have entered her room and physically attacked her. A nurse reported that she heard the woman screaming and enlisted the aid of several other staff members to stop the attack and restrain the man. Some reports indicate that this type of violence is on the rise due to residents who are frail and aging being housed with those who have ongoing behavioral problems.

A study conducted at Cornell University in 2014 asserted that out of every five residents included in the study, at least one had suffered a violent encounter within a month's time. Several factors are thought to be at the root of the rise in violence and injuries among long-term care residents. Increased longevity, mental patients being transferred from facilities run by the state to community houses, and accident and war survivors suffering brain trauma who have tendencies to act in violent manners are among the reasons listed in recent studies.

Family members in the case mentioned above, which occurred outside the state of Hawaii, have filed a lawsuit claiming that the nursing home injury was caused by the staff's failure to protect the woman from potential attacks. Any person who is injured while in the care of professional medical staff in a nursing facility has the right to file a personal injury claim in a civil court. Legal teams with experience in these particular types of claims are available to offer guidance and advice with regard to the claims process.

Source: hamptonroads.com, "Senior care facilities mix the frail and the disturbed", Elizabeth Simpson, Feb. 22, 2015

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