Nursing homes are facilities that provide long-term care for a person when they are no longer able to care for themself. Most patients in a nursing care facility are elderly and rely on a stranger for their care and protection. Families place their trust in nursing homes, confident their loved one will receive superior care. That is often not the case. Nursing home abuse and elder care abuse are very real — and heartbreaking. While many nursing homes provide excellent care and support for a patient, statistics shows that nursing home abuse and elder care abuse run rampant in the United States.
Harsh Nursing Home Statistics
- Ninety percent of nursing homes in the United States are understaffed, affecting the quality of care and attention received by your loved one.
- Data suggests one of every four nursing homes has received a citation for causing serious injury to a patient or death of a patient.
- It is believed that a mere 1 in 14 instances of abuse are reported to authorities.
- In 2003 long-term care studies nationwide reported over 20,000 abuse complaints.
- A 2005 study shows that over 90 percent of nursing homes received health citations.
- An estimated twenty reports of abuse per nursing home are received each year.
Elderly Patients Suffering Abuse
The terms “elder abuse” and “nursing home abuse” are “safe” enough to belie the hidden horror behind them. To expand on those terms, one would have to include:
- Gross neglect (including leaving a patient in soiled undergarments for a day or more)
- Physical abuse (Hitting and slapping are not uncommon)
- Verbal abuse (Cruel talk to the elder patient who becomes frustrating to the caretaker)
- Sexual abuse (Sexual harassment and rape)
- Starvation (Depriving a human being of food and nutrients)
- Dehydration (Allowing a patient to go without enough fluids, causing various problems with mind and body function)
- Overmedication (Antipsychotics given to patients to stay quiet, calm and prevent outbursts)
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact number of nursing home abuse incidents. Oftentimes, elderly patients have no family and are at the mercy of their caretaker. If a patient does have family, the incident may go unreported by the patient for fear or being “too much trouble” to their family. Also tragic is that many elderly patients are overmedicated with antipsychotics and may not be aware of the abuse themselves.
If you have a loved one who has suffered from nursing home abuse or elder care abuse, call the Law Office of W.T. Johnson at (214) 231-0544. Stop this cruelty now.