How Common Are Cases Of Nursing Home Abuse And Neglect?

By Alex
November 23, 2022

Although abuse in nursing homes is now a widespread problem, it is still overlooked by most people. Fortunately, data on elder abuse in nursing homes can help us better understand the overall problem and its causes. Data on elder abuse in nursing homes shed light on why these incidents occur, who is most at risk, and what you should do if you suspect someone close to you is being mistreated. 

The following is a presentation of nursing home abuse data from respected organizations such as the NCOA (National Council on Aging), NCEA (National Center on Elder Abuse), and WHO (World Health Organization). This data is critical to answering your questions about the prevalence of these abuses and helping those affected. If you suspect that someone close to you is facing abuse or neglect in a nursing home, it is best to contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney- click for more info;

How Common Are Abuses In Nursing Homes?

Every year, hundreds of families are affected by nursing home abuse. In 2020, nursing home regulators received at least 15,000 neglect and abuse complaints. According to a 2018 National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) survey, people living in nursing facilities are exposed to numerous types of neglect or abuse by fellow residents and staff.


NCVC research categorizes nursing home abuse statistics as follows:

  • Monetary exploitation is 7%
  • Abuse between residents, i.e., physical and sexual abuse, is 22%
  • Abuse through physical violence in nursing homes: 29%
  • Psychological abuse in nursing homes is currently at 21 %
  • Sexual exploitation is at 7%
  • Neglect or abandonment in nursing homes is at 14 %

Abuse in nursing homes is only part of the larger problem of elder abuse and neglect. According to NCOA, elder abuse affects at least 5 million people annually. However, similar to other crimes, not all nursing home abuse cases are documented. Still, researchers are trying to determine the exact statistics. The situation is further complicated by the unwillingness or inability of some older people to express their concerns.

Do you have relatives living in an assisted living facility? If so, it is in your best interest to familiarize yourself with nursing home abuse data to ensure your loved ones do not face these unfortunate incidents. 

Who Is At A Risk Of Abuse?

The data on nursing home neglect and elder abuse suggest that every older person living in an assisted living home is vulnerable to nursing home abuse. However, some people are more vulnerable to these incidents than others. Data on elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes include risk variables that increase the likelihood.

  • Socioeconomic Situation

Research has linked lower socioeconomic status and elder abuse in nursing facilities. Elders who rely on Medicaid for nursing home care, for example, are most likely to end up in facilities with substandard amenities.

  • Gender

Women, unlike men, are more vulnerable to abuse in care settings. According to NCVC, approximately 66% of victims of elder abuse are women.

  • Health Issues

An older adult in a nursing facility with poor physical and mental well-being will likely face abuse or neglect. For example, individuals who have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are more vulnerable to abuse. According to the NCEA and NCOA, more than half of all dementia patients are affected by neglect and abuse.

  • Previous Traumatic Experiences

Residents who have previously experienced abuse or traumatic situations are more likely to become repeat abuse victims.

Who Is The Abuser?

Abuse in senior or nursing facilities can be committed by anyone, with family members and nursing home staff among the most common perpetrators.

1. In-Home Caregivers

These are doctors and other caregivers who care for the elderly at home as a possible alternative to nursing facilities. However, these caregivers may abuse or neglect their patients.

2. Family Caregivers

According to NCOA, more than fifty percent of elder neglect or abuse complaints are perpetrated by family members. Two-thirds of these offenders are adult children and spouses. Difficulties with mental illness and substance abuse increase the likelihood of elder abuse.

3. Other Residents Of The Nursing Home

Nursing home staff should not be the only people you need to worry about in long-term care homes. Rather, nursing home residents can mistreat fellow patients. For example, there are cases where a nursing home resident, a registered sex offender, repeatedly abused another patient in 2021. In this case, the nursing facility was also complicit because those responsible did not report the assaults to the proper authorities.

4. Nursing Home Employees

Irritable, overtired, or deceitful staff can endanger the residents they care for. A 2020 publication ( WHO ) states that at least 64% of nursing home staff admitted to some form of neglect or abuse. 

Victims of nursing home abuse are often unable to protect themselves without help. If you feel your loved one is being abused in a nursing facility, seek an experienced attorney to review your case.





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