Elder abuse cited at one in three nursing homes
Reports of serious, physical, sexual and verbal abuse are “numerous” among the nation’s nursing homes, according to a congressional report.
The study, prepared by the minority (Democratic and Independent) staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, finds that 30 percent of nursing homes in the United States — 5,283 facilities — were cited for almost 9,000 instances of abuse over a recent two-year period, from January 1999 to January 2001.
Common problems included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene, the report said. The report documents instances of residents being punched, slapped, choked, or kicked by staff members or other residents, causing injuries such as fractured bones or lacerations.
There are a few speculations as to why this happens. One is that many of these facilities exist to profit off of government programs. Also, a lack of people entering the field puts increased stress on those who already work in nursing homes are a couple. Many argue that not-for-profit nursing homes are significantly better.