For many people entering their senior years, or from age 60 and over, their hope is that they maintain good health for as long as possible. When mental or physical deficiencies make it too difficult to care for themselves, then they may enter a nursing home or assisted living facility where they continue to hope for adequate care and to live safely. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect is not uncommon in many nursing home facilities across the US.
The baby boom generation that ended in 1964 may be the largest generational group ever recorded. Within the next two decades, persons 60 and over will comprise 20% of the population. Currently, there are about 3 million people living in nursing homes with that number expected to skyrocket in the coming decades.
Many of these facilities are seriously understaffed resulting in a myriad of problems including lack of medical attention and care to staff members abusing residents in various ways. The following is a compilation of nursing home abuse statistics that highlight the seriousness of elder abuse:
- Most elder abuse is psychological. This consists of taunting, bullying and threatening residents with violence or in withholding medication, visits or from participating in activities.
- 90% of all nursing home facilities are understaffed.
- Over 90% of nursing homes employ at least one staff member with a criminal record.
- Nursing homes with at least 100 beds experience between 100 and 200 falls per year though this figure is likely underreported.
- 10% to 20% of all falls in nursing homes result in a serious injury including head and pelvis fractures and brain trauma.
- Between 1500 and 2000 people suffer fatal injuries from falls in nursing homes each year.
- A 2000 study found that 95% of residents surveyed reported that they had either experienced some form of abuse or neglect or observed it in others.
- Researchers estimate that only about 20% of instances of elder abuse are reported by law enforcement, social services or legal representatives.
- Of the 3 million nursing home residents, over 240,000 suffer from bedsores each year.
- Over 90% of nursing homes are cited for at least one health deficiency or other violation annually, though most are cited for numerous violations.
- A 2007 revealed over 250,000 complaints involving nursing home staff, care or quality of the facilities, or 20 complaints for every nursing home in America.
These statistics are startling and expose a sad truth: that the care and comfort of our seniors are given low priority by nursing home facilities, most of which are corporate owned and profit-driven, often to the detriment of those the facility was designed to serve.
If you suspect a loved one sustained an injury or a medical condition as a result of nursing home negligence or from abuse by a staff member, consult Paul Tetzel, a nursing home abuse lawyer in Boston who will vigorously represent your interests . Nursing homes are strictly regulated by state and federal law and investigating and proving negligent care that led to your loved one’s injuries can be difficult and present complex issues of liability. Contact his office today for a free consultation.