Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Occurs at 1 in 3 Homes

Reports of serious physical, sexual and verbal abuse are common among the nation’s nursing homes. A study prepared by the Democratic and Independent staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House of Government Reform Committee found that 30% of nursing homes in the U.S. were cited for almost 9,000 instances of abuse over a recent two-year period (January 1999 to January 2001).

Common problems included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. In 1,601 cases, the abuse was serious enough that it could have caused potential harm to the residents and lead to death or serious injury. The report documented instances of residents being punched, slapped, choked or kicked by staff members or other residents.

In a disturbing case, attendants bribed a brain-damaged patient with cigarettes  to attack another resident, then watched the two fight. There were also reports of molestation.

The percentage of nursing homes cited for violations has increased every year since 1996, according to the report.

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Read the article here: ABC News: Elderly Abused at 1 in 3 Nursing Homes