The Extent of Nursing Home Abuse and Abuse of the Elderly

It is impossible to know how common Ohio nursing home abuse is because it is so underreported. Some national statistics may help us understand the scope of the problem.

According to the National Research Council, between 1 million and 2 million people over the age of 65 have been injured or exploited by a person who is supposed to be providing them care or protection. This statistic relates to elders in general, not those in nursing homes specifically, but there is reason to believe that that number is also high.

A federal study conducted in 2001 found that 31 percent of nursing homes received citations for abusing their residents. A third of these violations caused actual harm to residents or put them in immediate danger of injury or death.

Unfortunately, these numbers are unlikely to decrease any time soon. In fact, the situation may get a whole lot worse. More than a million Americans currently live in nursing homes or assisted living communities, but this number will certainly grow as Baby Boomers reach retirement age.

The best way to combat nursing home abuse is to make sure that all offenses are appropriately punished. This is hard, however, because residents are afraid to report abuse for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they are explicitly threatened by the abuser and fear that their abuse will get worse if they tell anyone. Other times, they worry that people won’t believe them or will think they’re developing dementia.

Sometimes, lines of communication with family members have already been damaged due to disagreements over whether the resident actually belongs in an elder care facility. This makes it especially hard to reach out to family members when abuse starts.

Then there are those residents who simply don’t have any family or friends to tell. If their complaints to nursing home staff are not acted upon, they don’t know where else to turn for help. In all, it is estimated that only one in 14 instances of elder abuse are reported to the appropriate authorities. The number is even lower for financial abuse specifically.

Nursing homes may not explicitly condone abuse, but they frequently fail to uphold their duty to prevent it.  If you believe a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, please contact the Ohio nursing home abuse lawyers at  Slater & Zurz LLP for a free evaluation of your case by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.

To learn more about nursing home abuse in Ohio, please visit


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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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One Comment on “The Extent of Nursing Home Abuse and Abuse of the Elderly”

  1. nursing informatics Says:

    Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.


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