Nursing home abuse is a shocking reality that happens across the country each day. Family members often struggle with feelings of guilt when an elderly loved one is abused by nursing home employees, but nursing home abuse is only the fault of the person who perpetrated the abuse and anyone who knowingly failed to report abuse. Anyone who believes that their loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse should contact an attorney for help with making a case against a nursing home. Compensation for medical bills and any financial losses suffered by a victim of nursing home abuse may be available.
One of the biggest problems with nursing home abuse is that it frequently goes unreported. Elderly residents of a nursing home may feel uncomfortable about reporting abuse. Victims often fear the threat of retaliation, and some elderly nursing home residents are unable to report abuse because of disabilities that limit their ability to communicate.
Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
Statistics related to nursing home abuse are typically based on anonymous surveys and in-depth studies that aim to uncover the disturbing truth about abuse suffered at the hands of those who are tasked with caring for nursing home residents. It is estimated that over 1 million people over the age of 65 are abused or exploited each year. These victims may be physically harmed or forced to provide personal financial information to abusers. Some elderly victims who are exploited for access to their financial information are not even aware that they have been victimized until financial losses are staggering.
Up to 10 percent of all residents of a nursing home are abused each year. This alarming statistic can be tied to the fact that many facilities are operating with fewer staff members than are needed to provide adequate care for residents. Injuries related to neglect are more common when there are not enough employees available to take care of the residents of a nursing home facility. Some residents may be left waiting for assistance after sustaining an injury. Other residents may have to wait too long for much-needed medications to be administered.
Approximately 90 percent of nursing homes across the country are operating with a shortage of staff members. Although one-third of nursing homes have actually received a citation related to abuse, only about 20 percent of nursing home abuse incidents are actually reported. It is likely that the vast majority of nursing homes have been the location of abuse.
Nursing home abuse cases that are reported to someone are not always taken to the proper authorities. Less than 10 percent of abuse cases occurring in a nursing home setting are reported to the police.
Nursing home abuse is not always physical in nature. Many elderly people are victimized when another person decides to convince the victim to provide them with personal financial information. Identity theft and other forms of exploitation are a serious problem in nursing home facilities. Approximately one in 25 nursing home residents are financially exploited each year.
Reports of nursing home abuse across the country indicate that under 500,000 elderly people are victimized each year. However, statistics show that there are probably millions of victims of elder abuse each year.
The nursing home abuse problem is not expected to go away. Unfortunately, incidences of nursing home abuse are expected to grow at an alarming rate as the population of the U.S. continues to age. Experts estimate that the occurrence of nursing home abuse will grow at a rate of 300 percent through the next 30 years.
Getting Help With Nursing Home Abuse
The prevalence of nursing home abuse is scary for loved ones who have entrusted the care of their elderly family members to the staff members of a facility. While nursing home abuse should not happen, the fact that elderly people are abused on a daily basis in a nursing home setting requires family members to be diligent about detecting signs of abuse. Anyone who detects the signs of nursing home abuse should report abuse and contact an attorney for assistance. Victims of nursing home abuse may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and financial losses resulting from both physical abuse and exploitation.