The nursing home abuse stats you need to know

The statistics about nursing home abuse are alarming. About one out of every ten elderly individuals will likely experience some type of elder abuse; more than two million cases of elder abuse are reported every year. And, this may be the tip of the iceberg because experts in the field of elder abuse believe that a majority of elder abuse incidents at nursing homes are going unreported. These statistics are reflective of an epidemic of elder abuse that is occurring nationally.

While physical violence towards elderly patients and neglect are the types of nursing home abuse that first come to mind, nursing home patients can also be subjected to emotional, mental, and sexual abuse as well as financial exploitation.

Nursing homes and their staff owe a duty of care to both the elderly patient and his or her family. Therefore, they can be held liable for injuries that elderly patients who are under their care have suffered due to negligence or abuse.

Do you have a parent in care?

If you are the family member of a nursing home resident, you need to be alert to evidence of abuse and neglect. The more obvious signs are bruises, sores, or fractures. Signs of neglect that aren’t so obvious are weight loss, lack of proper hygiene, soiled clothing, and a sudden change in behavior. Over 40% of residents in nursing homes have reported some type of abuse and more than 90% have reported that they or another resident have been a victim of neglect.

Statistics from the 2010 census indicate that there are more than 40 million senior citizens living in the U.S. Of these 40 million individuals, approximately 6 million are over the age of 85. This portion of the overall population is projected to increase over the next forty years and will represent almost 19% of the total population in the country.

An increase in the elderly population will result in a corresponding increase in the number of elderly residents in both nursing and assisted care facilities as well as an increase in elder abuse statistics.

What to do if….

Nursing home abuse stats don’t represent the true extent of the problem of elder abuse in nursing care facilities. Many residents are unable to communicate due to physical or mental issues. Others are afraid to report abuse or neglect for fear of retaliation on the part of the staff.

If you suspect that a family member or friend is a victim of nursing home abuse, you need to enlist the help of an attorney that specializes in nursing home abuse cases. Scott S. Harris, San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer, handles cases of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Southern California. We will gather the facts and evidence surrounding the claim — medical records, patient logs, and pictures of injuries, financial statements — in order to determine the cause of the the abuse and/or neglect and to build a legal case for damages.

Contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation.