A detailed report describing a significant increase in alleged physical and sexual assaults in homes for the elderly, has been remarked as 'horrifying' by Australia's Health Minister Nicola Roxon.

In the past year, the allegations of physical assaults on nursing home residents had increased by 50 per cent, according to the Sun-Herald, and over the same time, sexual assaults had increased by 36 per cent.

Ms Roxon said, I think this is a horrifying report.

Although the minister did not verify the numbers, she said the government was worried about the problem and had increased spot checks on nursing homes seven-fold since coming to office in late 2007.

But I'm not denying that this is a serious problem where governments need to make sure we are doing all we can to protect the vulnerable in our community, said Roxon.

And we are investing a lot more in aged care to make sure that proper care is taken of our very frail and elderly citizens.

The Sun-Herald informed that there were 1, 411 notifications of alleged assaults in nursing homes for 12 months from July 2008 to June 2009, quoting a Department of Health and Ageing report.

About 1,121 notifications involved alleged unreasonable force, 272 included allegations about unlawful sexual contact and 18 involved both.

These figures were a marked rise on the 725 reports of unreasonable force and 200 reports of sexual in the previous year.