If you have a loved one who is in a nursing home, you may have concerns about elder abuse, and rightfully so. According to national research on nursing home mistreatment, there is a serious problem across the United States. Elder abuse and neglect does not just happen; it is common.

To get a better look at the whole picture, it can be helpful to put things into numbers. Based on data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Justice and the World Health Organization, abuse can happen to anyone.

Two out of three nursing home staff have abused residents

Around the world, two out of three nursing home employees reported abusing residents over the past year during a recent WHO elder abuse survey; a substantial number of those occurred in the United States. Every year, there are at least 5 million US nursing home complaints of abuse. While many reports are for verbal offenses, there are others that involve physical harm. None are okay.

Neglect is the most common form of nursing home abuse

Most often, nursing home staff commit abuse by depriving residents of basic life necessities. In many cases, this is due to inadequate caregiver training, but there have also been intentional cases, too. Another common form of abuse is financial abuse. This is especially true if a resident has mental deterioration as many of those with dementia do.

Understanding the realities of nursing home abuse can help you spot it if it occurs to someone you love. Speaking up can save a life.