Nursing Home Abuse Incidents Happening Nationwide

by Nick Johnson - Date: 2007-04-05 - Word Count: 414 Share This!

Families turn to nursing homes to provide care and attention for their aging loved ones. But all too often a family's reasonable expectation for medical professionalism and human kindness is met instead by the heart-breaking reality of nursing home abuse. According to a 2001 Congressional report, one-third of the United States' 1,600 nursing homes were cited for an abuse violation.

From Maine to California and from Colorado to Texas, the number of nursing home abuse violations is growing every year. In the two-year period between January 1999 and January 2001, more than 9,000 nursing home abuse reports were filed. Of these reports, over 2,500 described an incident severe enough to place a residents' health and even life in immediate jeopardy.

Reported types of abuse include sexual, physical and verbal. Another significant area of abuse is nursing home neglect, which can range from a caregivers' failure to provide medications according to the doctor-prescribed schedule to withholding food and even water from patients.

Dehydration and death have occurred as a result of this type of neglect. Abuse violations are a serious concern in nursing homes across all fifty of the United States, and are particularly egregious since elderly and disabled residents are unable to protect themselves from an attack.

According to the 2001 Congressional report, nursing home neglect and abuse is wide spread and it cuts across racial, socio-economic and geographic lines. Across the United States, nursing home abuse is increasing. Between 1996 and 2000, for example, the number of nursing homes cited for abuse during their annual inspections more than doubled.

Even more concerning than the number of reported abuse violations, however, are the incidents that go unreported. Officials believe that abuse is grossly underreported. Patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease, dementia and paralysis are at particular risk. Not only does their impairment prevent them from communicating their abuse to loved ones, it also renders them helpless in preventing their future attacks.

There are over 18,000 nursing homes in the United States today, which house more than 1.6 million people. Over the next twenty years, the number of nursing home residents is set to double, with the aging of millions of baby boomers. As this population needs outside care, the number of residents grows, and with that growth will come new opportunities for abuse.

No city or state is immune; abuse statistics encompass every geographic location and type of facility. Regardless of where you live, nursing home abuse is a real and imminent danger for America's elderly.

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Nick Johnson is lead counsel with Johnson Law Group. Johnson represents plaintiffs in many states and focuses on injury cases involving Nursing Home Abuse. Call 1-888-311-5522 today or visit for a free case evaluation.

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