Abuse and neglect are two of the primary concerns of nursing home residents and their families and friends. It is hard to protect elder people from all hazards in the world, and we always hope that assisted living facilities staffed with round-the-clock care can reduce dangers.

The isolation of nursing home life can prevent younger relatives of residents from learning of serious violations of trust that can cause depression, injury or even death. A watchful attitude that includes vigilance and attention to unexplained injures or mood swings can help stop a dangerous pattern of abuse.

Although we often consider clinicians, staff and other nonresidents in a nursing home environment to be the main sources of abuse and neglect, there are also dangers regarding other residents. Assisted living facilities have an additional responsibility to keep patients safe from each other, especially if one or more suffer from dementia or other mind-altering condition.

A video obtained by a national news network shows a 52-year-old Florida nursing home resident punching an 86-year-old resident with dementia more than 50 times as the older man lay curled up on the floor. The dispute began over a cupcake. The older man later died of his injuries.

The nursing home had already amassed more sanctions in the past five years than any other assisted living facility in Florida. Two administrators were previously arrested in connection with separate incidents on charges of nursing home neglect.

Nursing home residents and their families may consider contacting an attorney to help investigate possible abuse or neglect, as well as prepare for a legal action against the home or parties responsible.

Source: CNN, “Retirement home shut down months after attack on 86-year-old,” Elizabeth Cohen and Michael Nedelman, Dec. 28, 2017