Resident-on-Resident Aggression at Nursing Homes Not Uncommon

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Resident-on-Resident Aggression at Nursing Homes Not Uncommon
Resident-on-Resident Aggression at Nursing Homes Not Uncommon

TUESDAY, June 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Many elderly adults in nursing homes face aggressive or disturbing behavior from their fellow residents, according to a study published online June 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Mark Lachs, M.D., M.P.H., of the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues included 10 randomly selected New York state nursing homes in the analysis. The researchers collected information on resident-to-resident elder mistreatment (R-REM) through interviews with residents and staff, chart reviews, and direct observation.

Of 2,011 residents, about 20 percent had been involved in at least one R-REM incident within the past month. Men and women were equally affected. The researchers found that 9.1 percent of residents had gotten into a verbal clash, while 5.2 percent had been in a physical incident, including hitting and pushing. About 4 percent had an "invasion of privacy" issue, and 0.6 percent experienced a sexual incident, such as inappropriate touching. Incidents were more common in dementia units; however, one-quarter of residents with no dementia symptoms were involved in at least one incident. Incidents were more common in units with relatively fewer certified nursing assistants.

"R-REM in nursing homes is highly prevalent. Verbal R-REM is most common, but physical mistreatment also occurs frequently," the authors write. "Because R-REM can cause injury or death, strategies are urgently needed to better understand its causes so that prevention strategies can be developed."

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