The Statistics Don’t Lie! Showing the Dramatic Problem of Elder Abuse in Nursing Home Facilities

Date: May 22, 2014

Elder and vulnerable/dependent adult abuse affects millions of people in the U.S. It occurs regularly in the community and in long term care settings such as nursing homes and board and care homes/assisted living facilities. It has been reported that a vast reservoir of undetected and unreported elder mistreatment in nursing homes may exist. Research indicates that more than 40% of people over the age of 65 will enter a nursing home before they die.

There are over 16,000 nursing home facilities in the United States and over 1.7 millions beds in those facilities. In addition, there are 52,681 board and care homes in the U.S with over 1.2 million beds in those facilities. As of 2008 3.2 million Americans resided in nursing homes. Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. nursing homes were cited for violations of federal standards that had potential to cause harm or that had caused actual harm to a resident during the two years 1999-2001. Nearly 1 out of 10 homes had violations that caused residents harm, serious injury, or placed them in jeopardy of death.

In a study of 2,000 interviews of nursing home residents by the (NCEA) National Center on Elder Abuse, 44% said they had been abused and 95% said they had been neglected or seen another resident neglected. Over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating (e.g. physical violence, mental abuse, neglect) older patients within the prior year in one study. Two thirds of those incidents involved neglect. One survey of certified nursing assistants (CNA) found that 17% of CNAs had pushed, grabbed, or shoved a nursing home resident. 51% reported they had yelled at a resident and 23% had insulted or sworn at a resident.

What are the types of abuse that are occurring in nursing home facilities? 29% of abuse cases are physical abuse, 22% resident to resident abuse, 7% sexual abuse, 21% psychological abuse, 7% financial exploitation, and 14% gross neglect. These statistics are startling not only for the residents in these nursing home facilities, but also for their families and loved ones. If you suspect that you or someone you love has suffered a medical error or an adverse event from improper care at a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, don’t wait to take action. You have rights; there is no reason to tolerate such despicable behavior. Call an attorney today.

Attorney Sean McDonough has been a partner with Dougherty, Leventhal and Price for over twenty years. He specializes in personal injury cases, emphasizing, nursing home abuse cases. His experience with nursing home abuse cases provided him the opportunity to present expert witness testimony in a Congressional Hearing addressing the issue of sexual abuse in nursing homes in 2008. Allow Attorney McDonough to be a part of the solution. Don’t wait any longer call DLP today and schedule your meeting with Sean McDonough.

All information was gathered from the (NCEA) National Center on Elder Abuse a report on Abuse of Residents of Long Term Care Facilities. For more information please view the report at

Sean McDonough
Upon graduation from law school, he entered the private practice of law with Dougherty, Leventhal & Price. He has been a partner with the firm since 1993. Over the years, Sean has concentrated his practice in the areas of personal injury litigation; he has also represented governmental entities and officials in federal civil rights and employment lawsuits. Sean also works on many of DLP's Nursing Home Abuse cases.