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What Are The Causes of Nursing Home Abuse?

February 15, 2021 | Category: Nursing Home Neglect/Abuse | Share

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) says experts report that knowledge about elder abuse lags as much as two decades behind the fields of child abuse and domestic violence. NCEA believes more research is urgent and is calling for a coordinated, systematic approach that includes policy-makers, researchers and funders.

“Below is a chart from the NCEA showing the projected rise in America’s elderly population from 1900 to 2050. As the population increases, there is even more urgency to know the causes of nursing home abuse and to adopt measures to eliminate elder abuse,” said Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Randall Spivey. 

 What are the causes of nursing home abuse? Spivey Law


A comprehensive review article in the New England Journal of Medicine found the prevalence of elder abuse to be approximately 10 percent, which includes physical abuse, psychological abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. The Office of the Inspector General reports nursing home abuse, along with elder abuse in general, goes greatly unreported.

The Nursing Home Abuse Center (NHAC) cites a case in August 2019, where two women were arrested for assaulting a blind nursing home resident. The home’s security footage caught the women slapping and forcefully moving the resident. One of the women said she slapped the resident because she was being combative. NHAC says there is no excuse for such a horrific act and encourages families to learn the causes of nursing home abuse to keep their loved ones safe.

The common causes of nursing home abuse include:

  • Nursing home mismanagement
  • Lack of staff training
  • Poor staff pay
  • Understaffing

Nursing Home Mismanagement

Nursing homes are either for-profit or not-for-profit facilities. For-profit facilities are more common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that nearly 70 percent of all nursing homes were for-profit facilities as of 2016.

Many causes can be traced to nursing home administrators or owners putting profits ahead of actually assisting residents. The NCEA believes these administrators or owners may put the nursing home repairs, essential care items, or hiring sufficient nursing home staff behind the goal of profits.

A 2018 report in the journal Gerontology noted that a nursing home resident in a for-profit facility was nearly twice as likely to suffer from health issues as the result of poor care.

Lack of Staff Training

In addition to nursing home abuse, an improperly trained staff can lead to nursing home neglect. For example, an improperly trained staff may feed a resident food they are not allowed to eat or administer the wrong medication. Nursing home neglect can be just as harmful as nursing home abuse. It is a failure to meet a resident’s care needs.

Poor Staff Pay

Poor staff pay can lead to having workers that are not properly trained or do not have the incentive to perform their duties. Low-paying nursing home jobs can attract staff with little experience. As an example, nursing home jobs in 2017 paid roughly the same amount as fast-food restaurants, according to the Vox news website.


Understaffing ranks number one of the most common causes of nursing home abuse. Federal data from 2018 showed that most nursing homes are understaffed. Understaffing has the effect of increasing burnout and tension among staff members, preventing every resident from receiving care on time, and leading to mistakes in care-giving.

As of 2019, only one registered nurse is required to be at a nursing home at all times, according to AARP. Some nursing homes do not even meet this requirement.

Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Randall Spivey at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys P.A. says, “Should you or a loved one be injured as the result of the negligence of another, please contact our experienced legal team. Nursing home abuse/neglect has become a serious problem in Florida, and we are committed to utilizing our team of experts and legal discovery to prove cases of elder mistreatment. We are available 24/7, and there are no costs or legal fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you.”


Fort Myers Nursing Home Abuse Attorney  Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact  Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.






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