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Ontario elder abuse: Residents abusing residents in nursing homes

Family members would like to think when their loved one has to move to a nursing home, that he or she will be safe. The truth is, if a resident isn't being abused by a staff member, he or she may be on the receiving end of abuse by another resident. Elder abuse in Ontario can be caused by the elderly themselves.

A recent in-depth investigation by the CBC shows that resident-on-resident abuse is escalating in Ontario's nursing homes. The family of a man who died in one of these homes recently obtained video footage of an incident in which their loved one was attacked by another resident. The home told the deceased man's family he had broken his hip by falling twice. 

More and more residents in these homes experience some form of dementia, which could give rise to violent behaviour, often causing them to attack other residents. The problem is that the staffing in these facilities is so poor that not all residents who need to be monitored for these types of actions, are monitored. In fact, the latest statistics show that over a six-year period -- from 2011-2016 -- there was a 105 per cent rise in the numbers of residents abusing other residents and that data comes from the incidents that were reported. Many are not.

With lax overnight staffing at these facilities and less medication being prescribed for dementia, these kinds of situations are likely to continue, the report indicated. Family members in Ontario whose loved ones have experienced any form of elder abuse -- whether at the hands of another elder or not -- may not know where to turn for guidance or advice. Getting legal counsel might help the family to make the decision to pursue restitution for all economic and non-economic damages sustained. 



Source:, "'It's a horror movie': Nursing home security footage provides raw picture of resident violence problem", Melissa Mancini, Katie Pedersen, Valerie Ouellet, Jan. 26, 2018

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