We all realize that abuse goes on all too often today in nursing homes, but the real facts may surprise you. When we place our elderly loved ones in a nursing home, we expect them to be treated with respect and dignity, provided meals and medications on time, and well cared for in general. Unfortunately this is often not the case. Negligent workers, a shortage of staff and other factors often make our nursing homes a dangerous environment for our loved ones.
Physical abuse isn’t the only concern when your elderly loved one resides in a nursing home. Mental, financial and sexual abuse are also forms of abuse that may take place. Below you will find recent nursing home abuse statistics from 2011, some of which you may find shocking.
* It is nearly impossible to determine how often elder abuse takes place in our nursing homes as only 16% of cases are ever reported according to the National Elder Abuse Incident Study.
* 5,000 nursing home patients died due to bedsores, starvation, malnutrition and dehydration in 1999 according to reasons listed on death certificates.
* According to federal reports, more than 30% of nursing homes are cited for abuse. This is nearly 1/3 of our nursing homes, a fact that is truly devastating.
* Of the different types of abuse in nursing homes – Buffalo included, 20% involves emotional abuse, while 16% suffer physical abuse and 3% of elder abuse cases involve sexual abuse. The remaining reported abuse cases consist of caretaker neglect; this accounts for 12% of cases that are reported.
* Residents are not only abused by staff members, aggression between residents is common. In fact, one investigation revealed that in a single 8 hour shift, 30 incidents of aggression can take place.
* Those who abuse the elderly are someone the resident knows 90% of the time. Staff members, familiar visitors (even those visiting other residents) and residents are to blame in most instances of abuse.
* Abuse through over-medication. Staff members often give elderly residents antipsychotic drugs in order to keep them calm and combat aggressive behavior or agitation. Dementia patients are also frequently over-medicated in order to lessen or eliminate outbursts.
* It is recommended that there is 1 nurse’s aid for every 6 patients, but is often found that 1 aid may be forced to care for as many as 30 residents. During meal times that recommendation is 1 nurse’s aid for every 3 residents. Understaffing is one huge reason that many patients do not receive the proper level of care in nursing homes today.
Reading the nursing home abuse statistics can make you reconsider placing your elderly loved one in a nursing home. The fact is, many individuals receive exceptional care and live happy, healthy lives in a nursing home or elder care facility. Still, the statistics prove that far too many of our elderly loved ones suffer abuse in the very facilities that are supposed to offer a caring, nurturing environment.
If you have a family member suffering from Buffalo nursing home abuse or Buffalo nursing home neglect, consider contacting Brown Chiari, Buffalo personal injury attorney team.