How Common Are Injuries from Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect, or Accidents?
How common are nursing home-related injuries? It's difficult to get an accurate estimate, especially when the injuries are the result of abuse or neglect. This is because nursing home residents are often unwilling, and occasionally unable, to report on the hardships they are experiencing.
A 2010 study conducted at Cornell University produced the following statistics:
- For every injury resulting from abuse or neglect reported to the authorities, an estimated 14 to 24 injuries go unreported.
- Psychological injury is the most common injury resulting from abuse or neglect, although financial exploitation of elderly individuals is a close second.
The National Elder Mistreatment Study found that, when asked, 7 to 10 percent of nursing home residents responded that they had been subjected to abusive or neglectful treatment in the previous 12 months. While not all of these cases resulted in injuries, the risk of serious harm was always present, and in some cases serious harm did occur.
Families who wish to protect their loved ones from harm can learn a great deal about nursing homes' past records by doing Internet research or by speaking to an experienced attorney. If you suspect injury due to abuse or neglect, don't hesitate to talk to a lawyer about your loved one's rights.