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Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

Nursing homes provide a valuable service to residents who need medical care, medication management, and hygiene assistance. However, nursing home residents are often the victims of abuse and neglect.

Did the nursing home staff mistreat you, or was your loved one victimized by abuse or neglect? The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of the victims and family members affected by the unacceptable nursing staff behavior.

Contact our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) today or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation. Let us hold those responsible for causing the abuse legally and financially accountable.

Abuse Statistics in Chicago Nursing Home

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics and Data

Since the 1970s, the U.S. National Research Council has released information and statistics on nursing home neglect and abuse: 

  • Abuse statistics show that many abused residents develop severe health conditions, mental health problems, chronic diseases, and death
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that there are nearly 16,000 nursing facilities in the United States, totaling more than 1.67 million certified beds
  • The average nursing care facility in the United States has approximately 106 certified bed capacity, although some care facilities have 1300 beds or more
  • Abuse statistics by the World Health Organization show that at least 10% of all nursing home care people who are residents 65 and older will experience elder abuse, mistreatment, and neglect in any given year
  • Abusers are not just nursing home staff members, but family members, especially spouses, and adult children
  • The U.S. HHS reports that approximately 50% of all seniors with Alzheimer's disease or dementia experience nursing home abuse, mistreatment, or neglect due to their vulnerability
  • Mental impairment and social isolation are contributing factors to elder abuse
  • Adults with disabilities have a disproportionately higher risk of elder abuse by interpersonal (relational) violence
  • The American Association for Justice revealed that nine out of every ten nursing centers are understaffed and cannot meet the needs of the people who are their nursing home residents
  • The U.S. Department of Health estimates that over 5 million senior citizens are victims of nursing home abuse every year
  • The United States Department of Justice estimates that over 35% of nursing patients witnessed one or more incidents of physical abuse the previous year
  • The National Center on Elder Abuse revealed that about 10% of nursing patients committed one or more acts of abuse against an elderly resident 
  • In 2018, approximately 23% of older Americans were minorities
  • Over the last seven decades, life expectancy has risen significantly for adults - from sixty years of age to 76 years for males, and 81 years for women
  • Published studies by MarketWatch revealed a shortage of medical professionals and geriatric doctors that will likely become a significant healthcare problem as the aging population continues to grow
  • The U.S. federal government Administration on Aging identifies elder abuse against nursing care facility residents as “knowingly, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person, inflicting serious harm or serious risk to a vulnerable person.”
  • Nearly 88% of all nursing patients are sixty-five years or older
  • In 2019, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recorded that nearly 70% of all nursing care facilities in the United States or managed as “for-profit” ownership businesses
  • The National Council on Aging said that active or passive abuse in nursing homes could increase the patient's risk of death by 300%
  • U.S. HHS nursing home abuse statistics show that approximately 40% of nursing care patients admitted they victimized others in the care facility with psychological abuse
  • Nearly 6.8% of all reported nursing home abuse cases involve financial abuse were nursing care seniors, staff members, or others gained access to the resident's bank accounts, credit cards, and funds
  • The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) revealed that nearly 14,000 senior citizens die from falls every year
  • About 6.9% of all reported cases of nursing home elder abuse involved sexual assault
  • Approximately 4.2% of all nursing home elder abuse cases involved neglect by the nursing staff in charge of providing the resident care
  • Over 90% of all nursing homes in the United States are understaffed with insufficient nurses, nurses aides, and other employees to provide adequate care
  • Nursing homes are so minimally staffed that one nurse's aide may provide care and services for up to 30 people at a time
  • The U.S. Department Of Health recommends a 1:15 ratio of caregivers to seniors but can reach as high as 1:30
  • Approximate 70% of all state surveyors missed at least one deficiency involving elder abuse or neglect when performing routine surveys and inspections 
  • Nearly 15% of all state surveyors missed a long-term care resident being abused or in immediate jeopardy when performing routine surveys and inspections
  • In 2017, nursing homes received an average of twenty complaints per year, equating to hundreds of thousands of complaints involving staffing, facility services, quality of care, and other issues
  • The Department of Justice believes that an estimated 1 in 14 cases involving elder abuse, neglect, and mistreatment are reported 
  • Doctors prescribe antipsychotic medications to nearly 33% of all nursing care residents 
  • The National Council on Aging identifies the six forms of elder abuse to include physical assault, sexual abuse, negligence, emotional abuse, abandonment, and financial abuse
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides financial benefits to nearly 66% of the 1.4 million nursing care seniors in the United States
  • The U.S. Census Bureau data projects that there will be nearly 95 million senior citizens (over sixty-four years of age) by 2060
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) report that elderly females are more likely to suffer abuse in nursing homes than men
  • The Office of Women's Health revealed that caregivers are more likely to emotionally abuse older men and women compared to abuse by family members and spouses
  • Statistics show that senior citizens lose over $2.6 billion every year from financial abuse, with likely many more unreported cases
  • National Adult Protective Services reports that only one in 44 cases of financial exploitation is reported every year
  • Statistics show that senior citizens living with an unemployed child are at higher risk of becoming a victim of financial exploitation
  • The World Health Organization and the Department of Justice study revealed that sexual assault remains the least reported form of abuse against the elderly
  • Abuse statistics show that approximately 16,000 cases of sexual abuse in the U.S. have been reported over the last two decades 
  • Statistics show that neglect remains one of the leading forms of elder abuse, where approximately 21% of residents experience some form of neglect the previous year
  • In 2019, nearly 20% of all nursing care seniors visiting emergency rooms received emergent care for elder abuse or neglect
  • A Michigan State University study revealed that nearly 1 and 4 seniors reported that a nursing home staff member had physically abused them
  • Studies show that fear and impairment are the leading contributing factors why many cases of elder abuse go unreported
  • Family members most likely to abuse a loved one include males, grown children, spouses, and those who are unemployed or using drugs or alcohol

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse Statistics and Data

  • The U.S. Department of Justice reports that only 1 of every 57 cases are reported to local officials
  • Anyone should contact local law enforcement (calling 911) or Adult Protective Services to report severe cases of abuse and neglect
  • The HHS Office of Inspector General manages Operation Care (Caring, Awareness, & Resources for Our Elders) by collecting data and investigating complaints and tips
  • Report long-term care and nursing home neglect and abuse by contacting the Eldercare Locator Hotline at (800) 677-1116
  • Statistics revealed that 7.6% of complaints received by long-term care facility's ombudsmen involved neglect, exploitation, and abuse of nursing care seniors 
  • Statistics show that approximately 33% of all reported cases of mistreatment involve psychological abuse, 14% physical abuse, 13% financial exploitation, 11.5% negligence, and sexual abuse 1.9%

Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

The Risk of Elder Abuse and Neglect

Federal agencies and senior citizen advocates and found that many individuals residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are victims of abuse and neglect. 

Some demographics reveal many contributing risk factors of mistreatment and break the patient/caregiver trust relationship include:

  • Elderly and disabled nursing home women are more likely to suffer physical abuse and negligence than men (65% v. 35%)
  • The Department of Justice found a correlation between elder abuse and lower socioeconomic status
  • Nursing care seniors receiving Medicaid typically reside in low-cost, substandard nursing care facilities than those who self pay or receive Medicare benefits
  • The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) found that older men and women with a history of experienced abuse and neglect are more likely to be abused and neglected in nursing homes
  • The risk of nursing home abuse increases in men and women with medical conditions and poor mental health
  • The NCEA found that any nursing home resident with Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and memory loss is highly vulnerable to mistreatment, negligence, and abuse
  • The NCEA and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) found that about 50% of all older men and women with dementia have been neglected or abused in nursing homes

Complaints of Elder Abuse and Mistreatment 

Many family members filed formal complaints against the nursing facility and submitted their grievances with the administrator, Adult Protective Services (APS), and the (NORS) National Ombudsman Reporting System. The reporting systems identified the percentage of complaints to include:

  • Government officials report that approximately 27.3% of all nursing home abuse complaints involved physical abuse
  • More than 22% of all nursing home abuse incidents involved physical abuse and sexual assault from other residents
  • About 19.3% of all nursing home abuse complaints involved psychological abuse by nursing home staff members, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, visitors, and other residents
  • Over 15.4% of all nursing home abuse complaints involved gross negligence by staff members in charge of providing optimal care
  • Nearly 8% of all elder abuse complaints involved sexual assault by nursing home residents, employees, visitors, or family members
  • About 7.8% of all abuse or negligence complaints involved financial exploitation in nursing care homes
  • Many cases of physical assault, neglect, and mistreatment are the result of nursing home staff members and in-home caregivers who are burned out, overwork, or receive improper training 

Typical Forms of Nursing home Abuse and Neglect

The 2020 U.S. census revealed that over 52 million people nationwide were 65 years and older. This number, many will require physical and medical help from others at some point during their retirement years.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 10% of these individuals will likely report elder abuse or neglect while receiving care in nursing homes, assisted living centers, or rehab care facilities. 

The common forms of nursing home abuse that compromised the patient's well-being include:

  • Physical assault
  • Emotional abuse
  • Financial exploitation
  • Malnutrition and dehydration leading to unexpected weight loss
  • Psychological abuse
  • Severe Negligence
  • Sexual assault
  • Social isolation
  • Verbal abuse
  • Many physically abused nursing home residents suffer broken bones, head trauma, unexplained bruising, and facility-acquired bedsores
  • Apparent signs of nursing home negligence could involve poor hygiene, medication mistakes, malnourishment, dehydration, and soiled bedding
  • Many seniors victimized by nursing home abuse show emotional changes, including frequent crying, fear, withdrawal, agitation, and complaints involving substandard treatment
  • Studies show that nursing home employees with negative attitudes are likely to create an unsympathetic nursing home resident environment
  • Intentional or unintentional social isolation by the nursing staff is a form of psychosocial abuse

Elder Abuse and Bed Sores

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Nursing Home Survey) reveals that many senior citizens suffered facility-acquired bedsores while receiving care in nursing homes and assisted living centers. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recognizes facility-acquired pressure sores as “never events,” meaning that nearly every bedsore is preventable if the staff follows the established skin care protocols.

Collected data reveals that a lack of treatment that led to a pressure sore included:

  • Approximately 65% of nursing care elderly seniors with a Stage I (initial stage) bedsore never receive treatment
  • Nearly 67% of nursing care elderly seniors suffered Stage II (advancing stage) pressure wounds due to a lack of treatment
  • About 63% of nursing care elderly seniors had stage III (progressive stage) pressure ulcers due to a failure of treatment
  • Over 60% of nursing home patients developed Stage IV (life-threatening/final stage) decubitus ulcers because the staff never provided treatment

Many of these injured elderly adults likely required hospitalization, specific wound medications, surgery, or other effective treatments to stop the development of gangrene or other deadly severe conditions. Unfortunately, many nursing homes fail to provide needed wound treatment provided by wound care specialists.

Don´t Be a Statistic. Hire a Personal Injury Attorney to Ensure the Safety of Your Loved One

Thousands of innocent nursing home residents die every year from preventable elder abuse cases, including negligence and mistreatment. Were you injured, or did you lose eleven through wrongful death caused by someone else's negligent or abusive actions?

The nursing home abuse attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone call) or through the contact form to schedule a free consultation.

All information you share with our attorneys remains confidential through an attorney-client relationship. Our law offices currently follow CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Covid-19 (epidemic) social distancing guidelines to protect our clients.


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