Nursing Home Abuse Information

An Epidemic Affecting Our Most Vulnerable Citizens

According to the most recent census, there are more than 40 million senior citizens currently residing in the United States, making them the largest segment of our population.

Regrettably, the declining mental and physical capabilities of the elderly often place them at the mercy of others and, unfortunately, subject to abuse or neglect.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines elder abuse as “any abuse and neglect of persons age 60 and older by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust.”

Unsafe Havens for the Elderly

Currently, over three million Americans are nursing home residents. Elderly tenants of long-term care facilities and their concerned relatives rightfully expect and deserve caring, acceptable treatment. Unfortunately, nearly all of these facilities fall dreadfully short of providing adequate care and many cross the line of abuse.

Per the World Health Organization, elder abuse is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation, and despair. Categories of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Malnutrition
  • Outright neglect
  • Resident-to-resident abuse
  • Financial exploitation, including theft, fraud, and coercion
  • Overprescribing or failure to prescribe prescription medications

Disturbing Statistics of Nursing Home Abuse

More than 1 in 3 nursing homes have been cited for care violations. This figure is especially disturbing when you consider the fact that nursing home abuse is woefully underreported. Many victims are either incapable or too frightened to alert a family member or authorities. Loved ones may also not see signs of abuse or neglect.

Some of the recent and alarming statistics include:

  • Nearly 1 in 10 nursing homes have violations that caused residents serious harm, injury, or death
  • 44% of long-term care residents state they have been abused
  • 95% of long-term care residents stated they had been neglected or witnessed neglect
  • Over 50% of nursing home staff members admit to having mistreated a patient
  • 1 in 4 aides who have been prosecuted for abuse have a previous criminal record
  • Up to 20% of reported falls cause serious injury, and nearly 2,000 residents die from falls each year

Protecting the Elderly & Their Rights

Aging does not diminish an individual’s right to live in a safe and secure environment, especially in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. Both state and federal laws are in place to safeguard the elderly from abuse. However, law enforcement and other government agencies must first be notified in order to act.

Medicare.gov lists the rights of nursing home residents, which include the right:

  • The right to be treated with dignity and respect
  • The right to be free from abuse and neglect
  • The right to be free from “disciplinary” restraints
  • The right to file a formal complaint
  • The right to have an appointed representative notified if they are injured or ill
  • The right to manage their own money
  • The right for an appointed legal guardian to have access to medical records and make important decisions

If you fear a loved one has fallen prey to nursing home abuse, notify authorities immediately. Contact the lawyers at NursingHomeAbuseAwareness.com to request a free attorney review.