Nursing home abuse is one of the most troubling issues that plagues society in the United States. Nursing home abuse can impact people of all ages, and it can even leave family members who become aware of such abuse emotionally scarred. Whether a loved one is physically abused or does not receive the nutrition that he or she needs to survive, it is clear that nursing home abuse is unacceptable in any form.
For this reason, family members must remain vigilant in protecting loved ones under nursing home care and must also remain aware of the quality of treatment that they receive in the facility. If a problem arises and family members become aware that a loved one is at the receiving end of abuse, then it is time to take legal action and consult with a lawyer. Nursing home negligence attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are available to discuss your legal options for holding individuals accountable for abuse that has negatively impacted your loved one.
National Nursing Home Abuse Statistics
In 2010, statistics indicating incidents of nursing home abuse reached an all-time high in the United States. In this same year, the United States recorded its greatest number of senior citizens. Individuals of age 65 and older made up 40 million members of society, or about 13 percent of the total population in the U.S. Of the seniors who reside within nursing homes in the U.S., it is estimated that at least 2.3 million of them become victims of nursing home abuse.
The truly unfortunate reality is that many of these cases go unreported to the proper authorities and are not dealt with in legal proceedings. Family members may be unaware that a loved one is being abused, a victim may be too afraid to come forward or a victim may simply not understand that his or her inadequate care constitutes abuse under federal regulations.
Statistics for Number of Reported Nursing Home Abuse Cases
The American Association of Justice has put forth its own statistics in regards to the number of reporting nursing home abuse cases in the United States every year. Some of the following statistics have been reported in a study called “Nursing Home by the Numbers:”
- 1.4 million people currently reside in U.S. nursing homes
- Authorities received over 20,000 official complaints of nursing abuse in 2003
- Only 1 in 14 nursing home abuse cases are actually reported to proper authorities
- Over 90 percent of nursing homes do not hire enough staff members to adequately care for residents
It is clear that nursing home abuse is not a problem that can be addressed overnight. This is an issue that nursing homes will need to seriously consider throughout all levels of operation. The hiring process for new staff members, adequate background checks, training of new staff members, sanctions for reports of abuse and implementation of a reporting process are all areas in which nursing homes can improve upon to eliminate incidents of abuse. Until nursing home administrators decide to devote more time to carefully considering these issues, incidents of nursing home abuse will be unresolved and may go unreported every year.
Nursing Home Violations and Statistics in Illinois
Nursing home abuse remains a serious issue that must also be addressed by specific states like Illinois. The Office of Long-Term Care in Illinois has issued a report on the state of nursing home care from 2010. The statistics indicate that the following types of abuse were most common, starting from the top:
If a nursing home in Illinois fails to abide by standards that have been established by federal and state law, then it may have its license revoked. In 2009, there were 99 nursing homes that had a conditional license due to abuse complaints. Only three nursing homes had a license revoked or denied due to the abuse and inadequate care of residents. There were no nursing homes that had a license suspended as a result of abuse complaints.
One other way to address the problem of nursing home abuse in Illinois may be to provide more vigorous enforcement of federal and state laws that result in license revocations or suspensions. If a nursing home fears that its license may be revoked or suspended due to complaints of nursing home abuse, then it may have greater incentive to properly train employees and implement rigorous reporting requirements for allegations of abuse.
In Illinois, the Central Complaint Registry (CCR) handles any complaints of abuse or neglect. The statistics indicate that CCR received the following types of complaints in 2009:
- Total Calls: 20,991
- Reports of LTC Abuse and Neglect: 3,506
- Reports of Physical Abuse: 185
- Reports of Sexual Abuse: 82
- Reports of Verbal Abuse: 47
- Reports of Neglect: 1,837
- Reports of Mental Abuse: 359
- Reports of Other Resident Injuries: 975
- Reports of Physical Assault: 60
The CCR also received the following types of complaints in 2006:
- Total Calls: 19,103
- Reports of LTC Abuse and Neglect: 2,922
- Reports of Physical Abuse: 163
- Reports of Sexual Abuse: 88
- Reports of Verbal Abuse: 29
- Reports of Neglect: 1,377
- Reports of Mental Abuse: 190
- Reports of Other Resident Injuries: 895
- Reports of Physical Assault: 81
It is clear that nursing home abuse incidents have either been on the rise or have remained consistently prevalent in Illinois nursing homes. Something must be done to address the serious nature of nursing home abuse in Illinois. If you have ever felt compelled to file a report of abuse or neglect due to the treatment of your loved one in a nursing home, then chances are that he or she is receiving inadequate care. You may want to speak with an Illinois nursing home lawyer so that you are aware of the legal rights of your loved one.
Prevalence of Pressure Sores as a Major Issue in Nursing Home Abuse
When a patient develops a pressure sore, this is also an indication that he or she has been neglected and abused in a nursing home. A nursing home administration may attempt to pit the problem to a patient’s predisposition or medical condition, however, it is important to know that it is likely still the fault of the nursing home administration and its workers for failing to treat the pressure ulcer.
Pressure ulcers can develop in nursing home residents at varying levels, and they can cause serious pain and suffering. Pressure sores can develop in levels from 1 to 4. Level 3 and Level 4 pressure ulcers are the most serious, and they can result in permanent disfigurement, blood loss, infection and even death in patients. It is estimated that 2 to 28 percent of all nursing home residents currently have pressure sores. On average, one can expect that 1 in 10 nursing home residents will develop a pressure sore at some point during his or her stay within the nursing home.
Statistics put forth by the National Nursing Home Survey administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services indicate that there was a lack of treatment provided for patients with the following levels of pressure sores:
- 65% of patients with Level 1 pressure ulcers did not receive treatment
- 67% of patients with Level 2 pressure sores did not receive treatment
- 63% of patients with Level 3 pressure sores did not receive treatment
- 60% of patients with Level 4 pressure sores did not receive treatment
It is disturbing that over 60 percent of patients with a Stage 4 pressure sore did not receive adequate treatment in 2004. These patients may have required special hospitalization, surgery procedures, medications or other treatments to improve the condition of a Stage 4 pressure sore. Yet, nursing homes tended to fail in providing the specialized wound treatment that these patients required.
Statistics of Abuse of Those with Disabilities and Mental Illness
Even more disturbing is the fact that many nursing home residents with disabilities and mental illness tend to be the victims of nursing home abuse in the U.S. Institutionalized adult women with disabilities have a 33 percent greater chance in being a victim of nursing home abuse than adult women without disabilities in a similar long-term care facility. Statistics also show that over 55 percent of male men with disabilities experience physical abuse in nursing homes.
Nursing Home Profit Statistics: A Lack of Incentive to Provide Adequate Care?
The nursing home industry stands to profit as residents continue to be admitted. The nursing home industry currently rakes in over $75 billion in the U.S. If nursing homes continue to enjoy such great profits and fail to remedy nursing home abuse trends, then it is the elderly and other adults who will continue to suffer.Don’t Become A Statistic. Get Help For Your Loved One Now
It is in your best interest to get in touch with an Illinois nursing home abuse attorney if your loved one has been abused in a nursing home. No adult should have to experience neglect or abuse in a nursing home. Our attorneys are here to help you.