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How Common is Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes and Other Care Facilities?

As our population ages, elder abuse is a problem that continues to grow across the United States. One study estimates that nursing homes care for 1.5 million elderly and frail Americans, for whom physical and verbal aggression may occur on a routine basis. In fact, by the year 2050, researchers estimate that 20 percent of the total population will be senior citizens. The abusive behaviors that nursing home residents consistently experience include inappropriate, disruptive or hostile actions by other residents, unwelcome entry into residents’ rooms, physical incidents, verbal incidents, and sexual incidents. Therefore, elder abuse in nursing home and other long-term care facilities is far more common than one might initially think.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, a recent study showed that anywhere from 7.6 to 10 percent of elder Americans suffered abuse in the prior year. While reports of elder abuse are increasing, it is estimated that only one of every 14 cases of elder abuse is actually reported to authorities. All too often, these cases of abuse, many of which occur in nursing homes, go completed undetected and unpunished. In one study of 2,000 nursing home residents, 44% of nursing home residents reported that they had suffered abuse, and 95% reported that they had either been neglected or witnessed another resident being neglected.

Moreover, almost one in three American nursing homes were cited for violating federal standards related to potential or actual harm to a resident. Nearly one out of every 10 homes had violations that actually caused residents harm, serious injury, or in danger of death. Additionally, more than 50% of nursing home staff members surveyed admitted to having mistreated a nursing home resident in the past year, with two-thirds of those incidents involving neglect.

The lawyers of Boller & Vaughan have unparalleled knowledge of Wisconsin elder abuse laws and know how to help guide you through any elder abuse claim. Regardless of the type of abuse or neglect involved, we are here to help you and your family get through this devastating ordeal. In many cases, residents are reluctant to seek a remedy or even report abuse at the hands of a nursing home. Rely on your Madison elderly abuse attorneys to help you explore all available avenues of relief and get the justice that your situation demands.