Trends in Reporting of Abuse and Neglect to Long Term Care Ombudsmen: Data from the National Ombudsman Reporting System from 2006 to 2013

Geriatr Nurs. Jul-Aug 2015;36(4):281-3. doi: 10.1016/j.gerinurse.2015.03.002. Epub 2015 Apr 30.


We utilized the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) to describe national trends in reporting of abuse and neglect in nursing facilities to long term care ombudsmen (LTCO) from 2006 to 2013. We investigated complaints made against facility staff or residents with the following codes: physical abuse, verbal/mental abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, gross neglect, and resident to resident physical or sexual abuse. Nationally, LTCO received an annual average of 11,749 abuse and neglect-related complaints in nursing homes from 2006 to 2013. These complaints trended down significantly, from 7.5 to 5.6 reports per 1000 beds (P < 0.0001). Physical abuse by a non-resident was the most frequently reported, representing an average of 28% of total abuse/neglect complaints. Improved understanding of the reasons for declines in reporting, increased training on other types of abuse and neglect, and expansion of the NORS database to allow for more comprehensive analysis are needed.

Keywords: Abuse, neglect, and exploitation; Long term care ombudsman; Nursing home.

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Elder Abuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Elder Abuse / trends*
  • Humans
  • Long-Term Care*
  • Nursing Homes
  • Patient Advocacy*
  • Sex Offenses