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Nursing Home Abuse Statistics: How Big Is the Problem?

Almost half of those who live to be older than age 65 in the United States will spend some time in a nursing home before they die. If you don’t enter a nursing home, then chances are that someone you love will.

You may be concerned about your safety or the safety of your loved one. You’ve heard news stories and anecdotes about the horrors of nursing home abuse, but how big is the problem? Is it really a risk that you should worry about?

The Latest Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse:

  • A study found that 44 percent of nursing home residents report abuse and 95 percent report neglect of themselves or other residents within the past year.
  • Another study found that more than half of nursing home staff report mistreating residents within the past year.
  • Almost one-third of nursing homes in the United States were cited for violating federal regulations that could have lead to the actual harm of a resident during a two-year period.
  • Of the abuse that is being reported in nursing homes: 29 percent is physical abuse; 22 percent is resident-to-resident abuse; 21 percent is psychological abuse; 14 percent is gross neglect; 7 percent is financial exploitation; and 7 percent is sexual abuse.

While these statistics are alarming, they may be only a small sampling of the actual problem. It is estimated that the majority of nursing home abuse and neglect complaints are not actually reported to the appropriate authorities.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Need to Be Reported So Solutions Can Be Found

The problem cannot be fixed if nursing home residents and their loved ones do not report incidents of abuse or neglect. While government inspections and reviews may catch some incidents of abuse or neglect, they are not perfect. Instead, you should report abuse and neglect to your local Division of Quality Assurance organization and take the appropriate actions to protect yourself or your loved one. Please browse our related link section on this page for more information on how to protect yourself, or your loved one, after nursing home abuse or neglect has caused an injury.