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Causes of Elder and Nursing Home Abuse

Although the nursing home industry is intended to provide a caring, nurturing environment for individuals in their golden years, the nursing home industry has historically put profit over people. These nursing facilities do not hire enough people, or hire people who are unqualified or untrained for their positions in order to yield a profit. This is done at the patient’s expense and often results in cases of abuse or neglect of one of our most vulnerable segments of our community – our elderly. Problems with nursing home facilities are exacerbated due to insufficient training, which increases the likelihood of negligence and abuse. Because the elderly who endure such neglect and abuse suffer from mental or physical impairment, they often cannot adequately communicate instances of abuse, allowing the cycle of abuse and neglect to perpetuate.

Causes and Statistics of Elder and Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

General Statistics –

  • While national statistics on elder abuse are currently not recorded, in 2004 the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) estimated a 19.7 percent increase in the total reports of elder abuse and neglect and a 15.6 percent increase substantiated cases since the last survey was conducted four years prior. They also found that 1 to 2 million elders have been “injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated.”  Of these, however, the NCEA believes that only 1 in 14 elder abuse incidents are reported to authorities.

California Statistics–

  • The United States General Accounting Office reported in 1998 that one in three nursing homes was cited for serious or potentially life-threatening care problems.
  • The U.S. Congress Committee on Government Reform (USCCGR) reported in 1999 that of the 439 nursing homes in Los Angeles County, only one was in total compliance with federal standards of care.
  • The USCCGR reported in 2000 that only 19 of 288 nursing homes in San Francisco Bay Area were in full or substantial compliance with federal standards of care.
  • The USCCGR reported in 2001 that all 27 of the nursing homes in the 22nd Congressional District (Santa Barbara) violated federal health and safety standards.

Contact York Law Firm

If you believe that you have a claim against a nursing home or assisted living facility for elder abuse or neglect, contact York Law Firm immediately to speak with one of our  experienced elder abuse attorneys.  We can help apprise you of your legal rights.