$3,100,000Pressure sore death
$2,333,000Fall involving traumatic brain injury
$1,500,000Bedsore settlement
$1,499,000Dementia patient injury
$1,250,000Repeated fall injuries

Physical Elder Abuse


Elder abuse is a growing concern for millions of seniors worldwide, and nursing home residents are among the most vulnerable populations. Thousands of nursing home residents suffer abuse from their caregivers, family members, or other residents every year.

The consequences of elder abuse can be devastating, including physical harm, mental trauma, financial loss, and even death.

Is your loved one the victim of physical elder abuse? The personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC are dedicated to advocating for the rights of nursing home residents and their families who have suffered harm due to elder abuse.

Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form to schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.

National Elder Abuse Statistics

Elder abuse is a widespread problem that affects millions of elderly adults in the United States. According to various studies and data from reputable organizations, the prevalence of elder abuse is staggering, and the numbers are only expected to increase as the senior population grows.

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 1 in 6 older men and women experience some form of elder abuse.
  • The National Council on Aging reports that approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60 and older have experienced some form of elder abuse.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 1 in 24 elderly adults experience physical abuse in nursing homes yearly.
  • The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that financial abuse is the most common form of elder abuse, with estimates suggesting that up to 5 million older men and women are affected annually.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies suggest that families perpetuate up to 90% of elder abuse. Adult children and spouses are the most common perpetrators, especially when victims have mental impairments.
  • The National Council on Aging reports that around 90% of elder abuse cases are not reported to authorities. Elder abuse occurs in many forms, including physical abuse, sexual assault, psychological abuse, abusive financial behavior, and neglect.
  • According to the World Health Organization, the elderly who experience abuse have a 300% higher risk of death than those who have not.
  • Domestic violence is also a significant issue for elderly adults, with estimates suggesting that around 1 in 4 women aged 65 and older experience domestic harm in their lifetime when injured by a family member.
  • Elder abuse is also prevalent in healthcare settings, with studies suggesting that up to 1 in 5 nursing home residents have experienced abuse or neglect.
  • Self-neglect is another form of elder abuse, which occurs when elderly adults fail to meet their basic needs, such as food, shelter, or personal hygiene. Studies suggest self-neglect is the most common form of elder abuse reported to Adult Protective Services (APS).

Understanding Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a significant concern for many elderly people and their families. It can take many forms, including physical abuse, sexual assault, and psychological abuse.

Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to abuse due to physical and mental frailty, dependence on caregivers, and limited social contact.

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a complex and multifaceted issue affecting older people from all walks of life. However, some individuals may be more vulnerable to abuse due to various risks.

By understanding these risks, we can work towards preventing elder abuse and protecting elderly citizens from harm.

Physical Abuse

Physically abusing is extremely harmful to the elderly and involves the use of physical force that results in bodily harm, pain, or injury. Physical abuse may include hitting, slapping, pushing, or using physical/chemical restraints.

Physical Signs of Abuse

The signs of physical abuse may result in broken bones, bruises, cuts, or welts. Older men and women who have been physically abused may experience constant physical pain or have poor hygiene.

How to Report Physical Elder Abuse

If you suspect an older man or woman is being physically abused, it is essential to report it immediately. Reporting physical elder abuse usually involves contacting APS or law enforcement.

The World Health Organization defines elder abuse as “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person.”

In the United States, each state has its Adult and Child Protective Services agencies responsible for investigating reports of elder abuse. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the National Center on Elder Abuse provide resources for reporting and preventing elder abuse.

Preventing Physical Abuse

Physical abuse may occur in nursing homes or other care facilities, and prevention may involve improving staff training, implementing proper monitoring systems, and avoiding using physical restraints or force.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves non-consensual sexual contact, sexual harassment, or inappropriate touching. It is a severe form of elder abuse that can cause significant physical and emotional harm.

Physical signs of sexual abuse may include bruising or bleedingin the genital area or unexplained sexually transmitted infections. Behavioral signs may include sudden changes in mood or behavior, withdrawal from social activities, or increased substance abuse problems.

Reporting Sexual Elder Abuse

Reporting sexual elder abuse is crucial in protecting the victim and preventing future abuse. If you suspect an older person is being sexually abused, you must report it to the authorities immediately. You can report it to APS or law enforcement. The victim may also require medical attention or counseling.

Psychological Abuse

Emotional abuse, often called psychological abuse, involves words or actions that cause harm to an older adult’s mental or emotional well-being. This emotional abuse can include verbal or nonverbal behaviors such as name-calling, yelling, or intimidation.

Signs of Psychological (Emotional) Abuse

The signs of psychological abuse may include anxiety, depression, social withdrawal, or a change in sleep or eating habits. Some elderly people who have been psychologically abused may also become more agitated, confused, or fearful.

Common Risk Factors for Psychological Abuse

Some of the risks for psychological abuse may include mental impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, physical disabilities, or chronic medical conditions.

Preventing Psychological Abuse

Preventing psychological abuse involves promoting a safe and respectful environment for older men and women. Educating caregivers and family members on the signs of psychological abuse is essential, as well as encouraging them to report any concerns immediately.

Financial Abuse

Financial exploitation is a type of elder abuse that involves the illegal or unauthorized use of an older person’s funds or assets. It can include stealing money, forging signatures, or coercing an elderly person into signing financial documents.

The possible signs of abuse may include sudden changes in checking/savings accounts, unexplained withdrawals or transfers, or missing valuables. Older men and women who have been financially abused may become more withdrawn or fearful.

Preventing Financial Abuse

Financial elder abuse can involve exploitation of an older person’s bank accounts or other financial resources. To prevent exploitation, it’s crucial to monitor banking/savings accounts and financial transactions, be aware of potential scams, and limit access to financial information.

Recognizing and Reporting Elder Abuse

Recognizing abuse involves being aware of the warning signs and risks. Some common warning signs of elder abuse include unexplained injuries, frequent illnesses, or changes in mood or behavior. Risks may include mental or physical impairments, social isolation, or drug/alcohol abuse problems.

If you suspect an older man or woman is being mistreated, reporting elder abuse to the appropriate authorities is crucial. You can contact Adult Protective Services, law enforcement, or a local ombudsman to report the abuse.

Reporting physical elder abuse in a nursing home can include contacting the administrator, the National Center on Elder Abuse, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Responding to Abuse

Responding to abuse involves addressing the abuse and protecting the older adult from harm. It can include removing the older individual from the abusive situation, providing medical or psychological care, or taking legal action against the abuser.

Medical Care

Older adults who have experienced physical or sexual abuse may require medical care for injuries or other health conditions related to the abuse. It’s essential to seek health care and treatment as soon as possible to prevent further harm and promote healing.

Legal Action for Elder Abuse

Legal action may be necessary in abuse cases to hold the abuser accountable for their actions and prevent future harm. It can include filing a police report, seeking a restraining order, or pursuing a civil lawsuit against the abuser.

Elder Abuse Prevention

Preventing abuse involves being aware of common risk factors and taking steps to address them. These steps can include promoting social connections for older residents, providing education on healthy relationships and financial management, and improving access to mental health and care.

Family Members as the Perpetrators of Physical Elder Abuse

Family members are a significant source of abusive behavior, and family abuse and neglect dynamics can be complex. Preventing abuse by a family member requires understanding these dynamics and taking proactive steps to promote healthy family relationships.

The Dynamics of Family Abuse and Neglect

Elder abuse by family members can take many forms, including physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, financial exploitation and neglect. Family members may have a history of violence or abuse, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse problems, or financial difficulties.

Strategies to Prevent Family Members from Committing Elder Abuse

Preventing abuse by family members involves promoting healthy family dynamics and addressing underlying issues that may contribute to abuse. It can include providing education and support to family members, encouraging communication and social connections, and addressing mental health and drug/alcohol abuse issues.

Institutional Abuse and Neglect

Preventing institutional abuse and neglect involves improving staff training, monitoring and reporting of abuse, and implementing strong regulatory standards.

Preventing Abuse in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

Preventing abuse in nursing centers and assisted living facilit ies requires a multi-faceted approach, including providing adequate staffing levels, improving staff training, and implementing proper monitoring and reporting systems.

Regular inspections and enforcement of regulatory standards can also help prevent abuse.

The Role of Regulatory Agencies in Preventing Abuse

Regulatory agencies, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), play a critical role in preventing abuse in nursing centers and other care facilities.

These health care regulatory agencies establish and enforce regulations to ensure facilities provide high-quality care and protect residents from abuse and neglect.

Reporting suspected abuse to regulatory agencies can help prevent future harm to vulnerable elderly residents.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney to Resolve a Compensation Claim

Are you the victim of physical elder abuse? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages. Contact Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.

Call (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help you understand your legal rights and options.

Our attorneys have extensive experience representing elderly residents who have experienced abuse or neglect in nursing centers, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care settings.

We have the knowledge, resources, and dedication to pursue justice on your behalf and help you obtain the compensation you need to move forward.


Client Reviews

Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was...

- Lisa

After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit...

- Eric