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Examination of Resident Abuse in Assisted Living Facilities

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2013
45 pages
Based on information obtained from surveys of administrators and direct care workers (DCWs) in a random nationwide sampling of assisted-living (AL) facilities, this study examined their perceptions of the prevalence and nature of resident abuse in their facilities as well as the demographic and other characteristics of abuse victims and perpetrators.
Resident abuse by staff was perceived by respondents overall as being relatively uncommon; however, in some areas, such as humiliating remarks, there could be substantial improvements in the rates of such abuse. Resident-to-resident abuse was perceived as more common than staff-to-resident abuse. In both resident-to-resident and staff-to-resident abuse, verbal abuse and psychological abuse were perceived most often by AL administrators and DCWs. Some areas associated with abuse in multivariate analyses included external, organizational, and internal factors (especially lower staffing levels). Very few associations with demographic characteristics of DCWs were associated with abuse. Resident characteristics associated with high levels of abuse included residents with dementia and with physical limitations. Administrator characteristics associated with high rates of abuse included shorter tenure and lower education level. A random sample of eligible AL settings (n = 1,500) was selected from all 50 States. Administrators were asked whether they would be willing to distribute the questionnaire to DCWs. Of the 1,500 AL administrator questionnaires distributed, 1,376 were returned, a response rate of 84 percent. Of the 15,500 DCW questionnaires distributed, 12,555 were returned, a response rate of 81 percent. 12 tables, 1 figure, and 54 references

Date Published: March 1, 2013