How Common is Nursing Home Abuse?

Sadly, nursing home abuse is a well-known problem, but it is still misunderstood by many. It is all too common and many people either ignore it or miss the signs till it is too late. When you place your loved one in the care of someone else, you are expecting that they will get the reasonable amount of care they need. When that doesn’t happen, it can be devastating. 

It is a difficult choice to trust someone else to care for your loved one. We’ve gathered up some information to help you see the signs of abuse and ensure that your loved one is being taken care of properly. If you suspect that abuse is happening, then it is often a good idea to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to understand the next steps you should take. 

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics 

Nursing home abuse affects thousands of families each year. The number of complaints has grown since 2014 when there were well over 14,000 complaints filed about abuse or neglect. The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) found that nearly 10,000 nursing home residents filed complaints related to abuse annually. 

Here is the NCVC’s breakdown of nursing home abuse complaints: 

  • 27.4% reported physical abuse 
  • 22.1% reported resident-on-resident abuse 
  • 19.4% reported psychological abuse 
  • 15.3% reported gross neglect 
  • 7.9% reported sexual abuse 
  • 7.9% reported financial abuse 

The sad truth is these numbers are likely higher than they seem. There are as many as 5,000,000 elders affected by elder abuse each year. Like many other crimes, not every case of nursing home abuse gets reported. Many people are unwilling or even unable to report their experiences, which makes gathering exact numbers difficult. 

Who Is at Risk?

Any elderly person who is in an assisted living facility may suffer from nursing home abuse. There are some that are at more risk than others, though. We’ve outlined some of the factors that increase the risk of the chances of nursing home abuse below. 


It has been found that women are more likely to be abused than men. The NCVC found that 66% of all elder abuse victims were women. 

Socioeconomic Status

It has been found that the lower someone’s socioeconomic status is, the higher they are at risk of elder abuse. If someone relies on Medicaid alone to receive nursing home care, they could end up in a lower-quality facility. 

Health Problems 

Poor mental and physical health may increase the risk of abuse. Those with Alzheimer’s disease are far more likely to be abused because of their mental health than others. About 50% of elders with dementia experienced some kind of abuse or neglect in nursing homes. 

We know trusting someone with your loved one isn’t easy. This is why we suggest you reach out to a nursing home abuse lawyer NJ like our friends at Davis & Brusca, LLC, if you have any worries that your elderly family member may have been abused.