Alarming New Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

Ohio Nursing Home Abuse StatisticsEven though nursing homes are the subjects of many lawsuits for all kinds of abuse and negligence, and even though the publicity surrounding Ohio nursing home abuse and nursing home negligence seems endless, there are still a shocking number of nursing homes that just don’t give their patients the kind of care that they need and deserve.

Here is a compilation of real, but shocking, recent statistics that shine a light on just how little so many of these facilities care about your loved ones.

In 2007, there were 257,872 complaints against nursing homes relating to quality of care, facilities, staffing, and other factors. This averages out to twenty complaints per nursing home in this country.

In 2005, 91.7% of America’s nursing homes were cited by health inspectors for at least one deficiency.

More than 30% of all nursing homes have had some form of resident abuse, whether it’s by staff or other residents. These include malnutrition, physical abuse, psychological distress, exploitation, neglect, and sexual abuse.

Nearly all of the time, those who abuse nursing home residents are not strangers: 90 percent of them are known to the victim. That includes staff members, other residents, or familiar visitors—these are almost always the cause of nursing home abuse.

A study of death certificates for the year 1999 indicated that as many as 5000 nursing home deaths were caused by negligence, including  starvation, dehydration, or bedsores as the cause of death.

Two years later, in 2001, one out of four nursing homes was cited for death or serious injury to a resident.

Patients are being overmedicated. Two studies indicate that a high percentage of nursing home patients are receiving anti-psychotic drugs—one study found a third of patients were on these medications, and another study found that more than 90 percent of nursing home patients were on anti-psychotics.

A primary cause of damage to nursing home patients is an inadequate, untrained, or even criminal staff. There are no national requirements for criminal background checks for nursing home workers, and one estimate says that there is at least one person with a criminal background employed in every single nursing home.

Understaffing is another major problem. Ninety percent of nursing homes are understaffed. They do not have the staff levels necessary to properly care for their patients. One nurse’s aide may care for up to 30 people: Often, the ratio of nurse’s aides to patients is 1:15, but it can go as high as 30. The recommendation is 1:3 during a meal and 1:6 during non-meal times.

That makes policing residents very difficult, even if abuse is out in the open. In one investigation, 12 nurses observed aggression between residents 30 times in an 8-hour shift. And many nursing home patients have no one else to look out for them: more than 50% of nursing home residents don’t have close relatives. Many residents of nursing homes are without family support that can watch out for neglect or abuse.

And, even with all of that, it is estimated that only about 20% of nursing home abuse cases are ever reported. Many nursing home residents do not have the mental presence or confidence to report abuse for them, and it may go unnoticed by family and other caretakers, or it may be covered up by the staff.

As the U.S. population ages, baby boomers are looking at a shortfall of nursing home beds. In 2008, there were only 1.8 million total nursing facility beds, but there were 18.8 million people aged 65-74, and 14.7 million people aged 75 or older.

And, of course, the cost of nursing homes will only continue to rise. The average cost for a room at a private nursing home in 2003 was $66,000; the average annual cost for a private nursing home room may be $175,000 by 2021:

If you have any indication at all that your loved one may be suffering from any nursing home abuse or negligence, please contact us by calling 1-800-297-9191 for a FREE consultation with an experienced Ohio nursing home abuse attorney or send us a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk. Learn more about nursing home abuse and nursing home negligence in Ohio by visiting 

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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