Analyzing the abuse stats: W5 crunches the numbers
Published Saturday, March 31, 2012 7:06PM EDT
W5 crunched the numbers on assaults in nursing homes versus assaults reported to police.
Our first step was to get the number of resident-to-resident abuse incidents in Ontario long-term care homes. W5 obtained these statistics through an access to information request.
W5 focused on Ontario because the reporting system in that province is the most thorough in the country. Furthermore, Ontario is the only province where deaths in long-term care are reviewed by the Office of the Chief Coroner.
Statistic provided under W5's access request by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term care show that there were 1,788 reported incidents of resident-to-resident abuse in 2010. The ministry told us there are 76,000 people currently living in long-term care homes in Ontario.
Next we called Statistics Canada to get the number of assaults reported to police in the same year. There were 73,045 police-reported assaults in Ontario in 2010 out of an estimated population of 13,210,667.
The next step was to find a statistician to analyse the numbers. We contacted Nancy Reid, professor of statistics at the University of Toronto.
Her conclusion: there were 23 resident-to-resident assaults per 1000 people living in long-term care in 2010.
Using the same methodology she found that there had been 5 assaults per 1000 people in the general public.
When you compare these numbers you can see that residents in nursing homes were assaulted four times more often than those in the general public.
Natalie Mehra at the Ontario Health Coalition is not surprised, "It's a shocking number. I think it's a fair way of giving people a context for understanding the changes that are happening in nursing homes. If you don't provide adequate care and support for high-needs, complex patients that have behavoural issues or mental health problems you put others at risk."