To date, there are over 2.6 million Americans living in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities. These numbers are on a steady increase as the Baby Boom generation ages. What many people are not aware of are the rising numbers of nursing home abuse and neglect cases that have been reported in recent years. If you or a loved one either resides in, or is shopping for a long-term care facility, you should be aware of these alarming statistics:
- Approximately 44 percent of nursing home residents have suffered some form of physical or psychological abuse. 48 percent report having suffered rough physical treatment, and 38 percent report having witnessed the abuse of other residents.
- 85 percent of nursing home staff blames staffing shortages for the cause of abuse.
- 81 percent of nursing home staff report having seen some form of verbal, physical, or other form of abuse over the previous year. Roughly 30 percent of long-term care staff had witnessed some form of physical abuse of a patient. 40 percent admit to having committed such acts at least once during the year prior.
- 66 percent of nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions that limit a) their awareness that abuse is occurring, b) their ability to report abuse of themselves or others, and c) their ability to avoid abusive situations.
- 10 percent of nursing homes were cited for actual physical abuse, while a third of have been cited for violations that had the potential to lead to abuse.
Abuse That Is Not Reported
Considering all of the above findings, perhaps what is most tragic is the estimate that only 20 percent of abuse cases ever get reported. As stated earlier, many nursing home residents are too cognitively impaired to make a report on their own, and those who are capable often choose not to out of fear that doing so would cause further abuse. Considering that many nursing home residents do not have friends or relatives nearby who can check on them regularly to see that they are being treated properly, this abuse can become a chronic issue.
If you live in the Mobile, Alabama area and have a loved one in a long-term care facility that you suspect might be suffering from abuse or neglect, or if you are a resident in a nursing home and have suffered from or witnessed abuse or neglect, please contact Long & Long by calling (251) 432-2277 or completing the form on this page for assistance.