Nursing home abuse is any type of harm that elderly people face in care facilities, resulting in physical or emotional injuries, financial exploitation, sexual abuse, and more. Sadly, many families place their trust in these care centers to watch over their loved ones, yet they don’t always foster safe environments. 

Read on to learn how common nursing home abuse is. 

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

The following statistics are provided by the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • One in six adults aged 60 or older will suffer abuse in a community setting.
  • Two in three nursing home staff reported abusing elderly residents within the past year.
  • One in three nursing homes in the U.S. are issued citations for abuse each year.
  • Elderly abuse, both inside and outside of nursing homes, is severely underreported.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 27 million people will live in nursing homes or similar long-term care programs by the year 2050. 

Discover the different types of nursing home abuse below. 

Physical Abuse

Nursing home staff members can be physically abusive in the following ways:

  • Punching, kicking, or biting residents
  • Hitting residents with objects, such as a cane, or slapping them
  • Forcefully grabbing, shoving, or pushing residents
  • Physically restraining residents so that they can’t leave the room. 

Long-term physical abuse can result in life-threatening injuries or death. 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse consists of words or actions carried out to make someone feel scared and inferior. 

Nursing home staff can be emotionally abusive in the following ways:

  • Insulting a resident’s appearance or disabilities
  • Name-calling
  • Threatening to remove a resident from the house
  • Isolating residents as punishment
  • Being controlling of residents by limiting their phone, television, or transportation usage

Emotional abuse can result in long-term psychological problems that can damage a resident’s confidence, infringing on their quality of life.


Neglect is the intentional act of failing to provide proper care for nursing home residents. In nursing homes, neglect is typically the result of hiring staff who are indifferent, careless, or seek control.

Nursing home staff can be negligent in the following ways:

  • Failing to provide residents with food or water
  • Leaving residents alone for extended periods
  • Improperly administering medications
  • Not cleaning the residents’ rooms
  • Failing to report illness or injuries to medical staff or family members
  • Dismissing a resident’s complaints

Monetary Abuse

People who commit financial abuse will befriend a vulnerable person to obtain un-authorized use of their finances.

Nursing home staff can commit monetary abuse in the following ways:

  • Stealing a resident’s statements
  • Forgery of a resident’s documents
  • Not allowing a resident to access their funds
  • Tricking a resident into giving them control of their money
  • Stealing a resident’s expensive possessions 

Financial abuse can leave residents in despair because they may end up losing their life savings, leaving them unable to pay for long-term care. 


Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help

Nursing homes have a legal duty of care to provide their residents with a safe environment free of abuse, violence, and neglect. If a loved one is experiencing nursing home abuse, you can work with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney from Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton.

Our team recognizes that every nursing home abuse case is different. You can trust us to use a unique and practical approach to ensure your loved one receives damages.

 We have offices throughout Utah County, as well as West Jordan. Schedule your free case evaluation today