Earlier this month, a study was released by the New England Journal of Medicine analyzing the frequency with which nursing home residents have suffered from abuse at the hands of their caretakers. The result was that one in 10 older Americans suffer abuse of one kind or another. According to a national news source that reported on the study, the actual statistics may be significantly higher than those that were reported because of reporting problems inherent in the nursing home context.
The report indicates that the “young old” are the most likely to be abused, since they are the ones who are most often living with a spouse or adult child: the two groups who are found to engage in abuse most frequently. However, the report also notes that nursing home abuse is much more prevalent than many realize or are willing to acknowledge.
Physical Abuse in Nursing Homes
Perhaps one reason why the instances of in-home abuse are so high is the fact that the abuse statistics include financial abuse. Removing financial abuse from the equation, the ratio of abuse occurring in a loved one’s home and in a nursing home drastically decreases. This is because the most common type of abuse in nursing homes is physical abuse.