How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

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What Is Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?

Nursing home abuse can be defined as intentionally injuring, intimidating, or punishing residents, resulting in physical, mental, and/or emotional pain. Nursing home neglect, on the other hand, is defined as any failure (intentional or otherwise) to provide the care and services necessary to keep residents healthy, hygienic, and free of harm.

These two offenses are especially painful and upsetting when you consider that they are being perpetrated against elderly people who may already be frail, confused, and/or unable to defend themselves against the very people who are trained and paid to assist them and look out for their well-being.

Different types of nursing home abuse and neglect include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Physical violence
  • Verbal or emotional assault
  • Rape or any form of sexual misconduct
  • Failing to care for existing medical conditions
  • Depriving residents of food, water, or sanitation
  • Physical restraint or seclusion without reason
  • Providing medical care that is not consistent with a physician or other medical professional’s express instructions

How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Sadly, nursing home abuse is far too common and far too overlooked — and the overwhelming majority of these incidents go unreported. In fact, the situation is becoming one of America’s least talked about epidemics.

According to research conducted by Cornell University in coordination with the New York City Department for the Aging, the rate of elder abuse may be roughly 24 times higher than the number of reported incidences. Furthermore, their research also found that psychological abuse is the most common form. A separate study published in February of 2010, the “National Elder Mistreatment Study,” found that 7-10% of elders had experienced abuse in some form over the past year.

Here are some other alarming statistics related to elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes:

  • More than 30% of nursing home residents have been subjected to some form of abuse or neglect, whether from staff members or fellow residents.
  • More than 90% of all nursing homes employ at least one convicted felon.
  • The ratio of aides to residents can be as high as 1 to 30.
  • 90% of nursing homes are understaffed.
  • In 2007, nursing homes received an average of 20 complaints per facility.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse?

There are numerous signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse, including:

  • Infections
  • Bed sores
  • Asphyxiation
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Emotional distress
  • Repeated falls
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Noticeable timidity or anxiety in the presence of staff or certain fellow residents
  • Unexplained injuries or death
  • Unsanitary environments
  • Sudden and severe behavioral changes
  • Desire for isolation

If you have an elderly relative who appears to be experiencing one or more of the issues above, it’s possible that they are being abused or neglected by their staff or fellow residents. If so, it’s imperative that you seek assistance from a medical professional and have your relative removed from the facility immediately. Once you have made other arrangements, you should seek the help of a skilled and knowledgeable attorney.

Contact The Law Offices of George A. Malliaros

If you feel that you or a loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, please contact the Law Offices of George A. Malliaros right away. Attorney Malliaros has had sustained success in representing victims of nursing home abuse throughout his career, and he is confident that he has the experience and resources to fight the justice and compensation you or your loved one deserve.

Please call (800) 856-4449 or complete this brief form to receive a free consultation and learn more about our firm’s contingent fee policy, which ensures that our clients do not pay fees or expenses unless or until we are able to successfully resolve their claim.


15 shocking statistics on nursing homes. (2016). Masters in Health Care. Retrieved from

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