Elder Abuse: Violations Occur At Over 90% Of Nursing Homes

A study just released by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services reports that 94% of all nursing homes nationwide were cited for violations of federal health and safety standards during 2007. Approximately 17% received deficiencies or citations for issues which caused “actual harm or immediate jeopardy” to residents. These deficiencies were for such things as bedsores, medication errors, lack of nutrition/dehydration, abuse and neglect of residents.

In total, inspectors received 37,150 complaints nationwide. Surprsingly, only one-fifth of the verified complaints involved the abuse or neglect of patients. The remainder were for adminsitrative issues or those related to the physical premises.

Another telling statistic is that 94% of for-profit nursing homes were cited whereas only 88% of non-profit nursing homes were cited. For-profit also received an average of 7.6 deficiencies per home whereas non-profits averaged 5.7 per home.