New York City residents who have a relative living in a nursing home may be concerned with the rising rates of serious abuse in those facilities around the country. A study conducted by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee found that 30 percent of nursing homes were cited for nearly 9,000 such incidents over a two-year period.
The abuse was serious enough to place residents at risk for death or serious injury, or cause physical harm in 1,601 cases. Some common issues were inadequate hygiene and sanitation, preventable accidents, malnutrition, dehydration, insufficient medical care and untreated bedsores. The report documented incidents in which residents were kicked, choked, punched or slapped by other residents or staff members. Injuries to residents included lacerations and broken bones. The report indicated that the percentage of nursing homes receiving citations for violations has risen each year since 1996.