Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Neglect

When neglect occurs in a nursing home, residents suffer physical or mental health issues as a result of poor care. 

Many nursing homes uphold an excellent standard of care, treating residents with the respect and dignity they deserve. Sadly, some nursing homes fall short when it comes to treating residents well. Nursing home neglect and abuse are both issues in the United States elder care system. People who have loved ones living in a nursing home or an assisted living facility need to be aware of the signs of nursing home neglect.

Abuse and Neglect: What's the Difference?

Nursing home abuse and neglect are both serious issues. The term abuse often brings thoughts of intentional physical or sexual harm to mind. While neglect may not be obvious or intentional, it’s still a form of abuse. 

If a nursing home staff member does not perform the necessary duties to take care of a patient (such as bathing, grooming, cleaning the room, providing proper nutrition, giving medication on time, facilitating social outings), the resident can suffer. Accidental neglect – such as giving the wrong medication or forgetting about a dietary need – can cause long-term harm as well. 

There are many reasons that nursing home neglect can occur. Often, neglect can be traced back to understaffing issues – too much work for too few employees. When nursing home health care professionals and other employees are overworked, they may struggle to provide residents with proper care, or they may become forgetful. Lack of training, poor staff member screening practices, and too much responsibility without proper education can all play into reasons why well-meaning staff members may perpetuate neglect.

Types of Nursing Home Neglect

There are many types of nursing home neglect, including:

Medical Neglect

This type of nursing home neglect occurs when an employee of a nursing home doesn’t meet the health care needs of a resident. Medical neglect can take several forms. An employee may fail to administer medication at the correct time or may administer the wrong medication. Some residents are hesitant to take their medication, and an employee could leave without ensuring that the resident took their medication as prescribed. 

Failing to move residents who have mobility issues can result in bedsores, another form of neglect. With bedsores and other issues, staffers may realize they have been neglectful of their duties according to the facility’s standard of care and may fail to report the issue to the resident’s doctor or other healthcare professional out of fear of getting in trouble. Employees may also fail to properly care for health problems such as diabetes or dementia. Sometimes, this lack of care is not the employee’s fault. Some nursing homes have a high turnover rate, and they fail to properly train new employees.

Neglect of Basic Hygiene/ Basic Living Needs

A nursing home is trusted to exceed each resident’s basic needs. When a resident’s basic hygiene and living needs are not met, both physical and mental health suffer. Neglect in this category may include not changing dirty clothing or bedding, providing unsafe food or water, failing to provide clean spaces for residents, and/or failing to properly bathe residents.

Social/Emotional Neglect

Socializing is an important part of nursing home care. If residents are left isolated, their mental health can quickly deteriorate. Taking care of the social needs of the residents falls both on those in charge of the nursing home and on those who provide direct care. Social opportunities should occur regularly, and direct care providers should encourage residents to attend. Failure to do so can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues. 

Providing residents with a way to get around is also an important part of facilitating positive social interactions. Failure to provide residents with walkers, canes, or wheelchairs to allow them to move freely is a type of neglect.

Signs of Neglect

People who have loved ones residing in nursing home facilities need to watch for telltale signs of neglect, which may include: 

  • Significant changes in personality 
  • Sleep loss
  • Hygiene problems
  • Self-inflicted burns
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Bruises, broken bones, or other injuries with no clear cause
  • Bedsores

If you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, it’s important that you reach out for legal counsel. Your family deserves better than this unacceptable standard of care.


On Our Blog

March 28, 2022
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Although there has not been much research into elder abuse, evidence suggests that it is just as common in the community than child abuse.

Read More
February 11, 2022
Police Investigate Death of Resident at Nursing Home

Police in Tonawanda are investigating the murder of a resident of a nursing home. He was discovered outside the facility on Tuesday morning, police stated Friday.

Read More
December 20, 2020
Face to Face with "Too Many Pills"

An interview with Alan Cassels on multiple drug use in the elderly

Read More
December 20, 2020
Petition to Stop Elder Abuse & Guardianship Abuse in America!

A petition for national efforts to confront the abuse and financial exploitation of our elderly and vulnerable citizens and for real change to end the abuse and address problems in adult guardianships.

Read More
December 15, 2020
US Senate Report on Nursing Home Abuse

Allegations of physical and sexual abuse of nursing home residents frequently are not reported promptly. Local law enforcement officials indicated that they are seldom summoned to nursing homes to immediately investigate allegations of physical or sexual abuse.

Read More
December 15, 2020
Hidden Camera Video Results in Nursing Home Felony Assault Charges

Images from a hidden video camera helped the son of a 78-year-old woman convince authorities that his mother was being brutally and repeatedly assaulted by nursing home staff.

Read More


By clicking the Submit button, I consent to being contacted by Select Justice, LLC, AAL Media, LLC, LeadClient, Inc. or a law firm at the number I provided. I also consent to receiving advertisements and telemarketing messages by text message or pre-recorded call, either of which may be dialed by an autodialer. I acknowledge that my consent is not required for purchase, that standard message and data rates apply, and that clicking Submit constitutes my electronic signature for my consent to being contacted and my agreement to the Terms and Conditions.

Submitting this form and the information contained therein does not establish an attorney client relationship. The information submitted may be reviewed by more than one attorney and/or law firm. By submitting this form, you understand any information received in response to this questionnaire is general information for which there will be no charge. You further acknowledge that the law for each state may vary, and therefore, you will not rely upon this information as legal advice. Since this matter may require advice regarding your home state, local counsel may be contacted for referral of this matter. By clicking Submit, you acknowledge that the information viewed is advertising and you agree to receive future advertisements from Select Justice, LLC and/or its partners.

© AAL Media, LLC 2023

Data Use Policy: The information you provide while taking this evaluation may be provided to an attorney or law firm representing clients in your area. An attorney or law firm may contact you by phone or text message regarding this matter. AAL Media, LLC will not provide your contact information to any unaffiliated third parties.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram