7News exclusive: aged care assaults 'increasing'

The number of elderly Australians allegedly assaulted in nursing homes has increased by 22 per cent in the last year, a 7News exclusive has revealed.

Over 1800 alleged assaults have been recorded across the states from 2010-2011, an increase from 1488 alleged assaults in 2009-2010.

7News obtained the figures through a Freedom of Information investigation that has prompted the Minister for Health and Aging, Mark Butler, to call for a full departmental report into assault and aged care facilities.

Butler called the figures "unacceptably high" saying, "I have directed my department to provide me with a much better and more detailed report of what is actually happening on the ground."

Under the Aged Care Act 1997 providers of residential aged care are required to report allegations or suspicions of sexual or serious physical assault to the Department of Health and the police.

Nursing homes claim a shortage of well-trained staff has lead to the increasing assault figures.

Lynda Saltarelli, an aged care advocate, says that the strain on our overworked nursing homes is a problem that is only going to get worse as the Baby Boom generation ages.

"It's something we should all be concerned about, because by the time we're old enough to get there, it's too late." Saltarelli told 7News.

Do you have a personal story to tell about nursing home neglect? Write to us with 'Nursing Home Neglect' in the subject line here

Click here to download the document detailing Australia-wide figures obtained by the 7News Freedom of Information investigation.