We hear about it in the news all the time: Another nursing home worker has been charged with abusing facility residents. Occasionally, the problem is so widespread that a nursing home is shut down or taken over by new management. Just how prevalent is nursing home abuse and neglect? Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers have done some research, and the numbers are surprising.
How Often Does Abuse or Neglect Occur?
Our Atlanta personal injury legal team has discovered a variety of studies that have investigated the prevalence of nursing home abuse and neglect. According to a 2001 U.S. House of Representatives report, one out of every three U.S. nursing homes was cited for violations of federal care standards between 1999 and 2001. Almost one out of every 10 homes had violations that actually caused the residents harm, caused them to sustain a serious injury or put them at risk of death.
The real damning evidence, however, comes from the nurses themselves. A 2010 Ben Natan study found that more than half of all nursing home staff admitted to mistreating patients within the previous year. Similarly, a 1993 study by Pillemer & Hudson found that 17 percent of certified nursing assistants (CNA) had pushed, grabbed or shoved a nursing home resident. The same study discovered that 51 percent of CNAs had yelled at a resident and 23 percent had insulted or sworn at a resident. Our Atlanta personal injury attorneys know there is a lot of frustration that comes with working with the elderly and infirm, but we also know that every single one of those CNAs reporting their behavior knows that kind of behavior is unacceptable in a care-giving situation.
What Types of Abuse Are Occurring?
According to the studies our Atlanta personal injury found, general neglect is by far the most prevalent issue in nursing homes. After that, physical and psychological abuse have almost equal standing, accounting for well over half of all abuse cases. Resident-to-resident abuse and gross neglect are also common. Financial exploitation and sexual abuse are less frequently reported, but they also exist.
If you have discovered that a loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home environment, we encourage you to call our Atlanta personal injury law firm. We can help you to make the right legal decisions, including gathering evidence to help you make a strong case against the nursing home.