Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

Tragically, there is not concrete evidence as to the exact number of older Americans who are subject to nursing home abuse. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what actions or inactions constitute elderly abuse, and, as a result, the problem remains veiled from national attention. Only recently has the torment and struggle of the elderly become subject of extensive investigation by state officials and independent investigators. The data is raw, but it is also beginning to shed some light on the amount of damage caused by unscrupulous nursing home employees and officials.

Some experts believe that for every one case of nursing abuse, exploitation or neglect that is reported, about five more go unreported. Recent studies also suggest that between one and two million Americans age 65 or older have been exploited, neglected or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care and/or protection. Sadly, investigators have determined that only 1 in 14 of these incidents actually comes to the attention of public authorities. The following are the results of recent studies conducted by a variety of public and private sector research firms regarding nursing home residents and the issues and events they may encounter during their residency:

  • Nursing home residents are younger today than ten years earlier - the proportion of nursing home residents under the age of 65 has doubled from 7 to 14% and the average age has dropped from 83 to 79
  • Five percent of the older adults in the United States reside in nursing facilities (1.8 million of the 36 million over the age of 65)
  • Roughly 75% of the residents were women, and about 50% were age 85 and older
  • Three percent reside in assisted living communities
  • Ninety percent of adults over 65 live at home, in retirement communities, or with their families
  • In 2003, the average cost for a room in a private nursing home was about $66,000 a year. By 2021, the average annual rate could rise to $175,000

While it may be difficult to understand the extent and prevalence of nursing home abuse cases here in the U.S., one need only look into the eyes of an affected individual to comprehend its devastating impact. If you or a loved one has been victimized by callous and unsavory individuals who care more for themselves than those they are employed to serve and protect, now is the time to contact qualified, professional and compassionate legal counsel.

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As the number and statistics for nursing home abuse and elder abuse change we will list those numbers on this page. This page was updated on 12.04/2006.