When you send your aging dear parents or loved ones to the nursing home, you expect them to be in good hands. Precisely it’s because you and your family believe your senior loved ones can be well taken care of at an elder care facility that you make that hard decision to send them to one. So, when you begin to suspect that your loved one has been subjected to neglect and abuse, it can be very disheartening.

Fortunately, nursing home neglect and abuse are acknowledged by both the medical and legal fields. Now, aggrieved parties can check possible available avenues for recourse to deal with it. Many nursing homes offer the best care and top standard. But those that are neglectful in their responsibilities should be held accountable to the law. 

With that said, here’s how you can deal with nursing home neglect.

  1. Determine First The Kind Of Neglect That’s Happening

There are many different kinds of neglect that can happen inside the confines of a nursing home. So, a good starting point is to talk with your senior loved one or to determine for yourself, according to the signs and the proof you have, what kind of neglect your loved one has suffered from.

Generally, nursing home neglect can be classified into the following:

  • Medical neglect. This happens when a medical nursing staff hasn’t met the patient’s medical needs, which can include:
    • Failure to report any signs of a disease the patient may have to their attending physician;
    • Inability to give and administer the patient’s medicines at the right time or whenever needed; and,
    • Neglecting to move senior patients with mobility issues in bed resulting in bedsores and other discomforts.
  • Hygiene and basic living need neglect. Depending on the age and physical condition of your senior loved ones, there might be those who can’t even take care of their basic hygiene needs anymore. A good nursing home should give you that peace of mind that your patient is given the attention they need to keep their daily life comfortable.

Neglect to assist and help with the basic needs and hygiene can include:

  • Feeding the senior patients with unsanitary water and poorly-prepared food;
  • Not changing the senior’s clothes as frequently as needed; and, 
  • Foregoing bathing the senior properly.
  • Emotional and social needs neglect. It’s not uncommon for seniors to feel emotionally lonely in a nursing home, especially when long ago, they’ve been accustomed to having family around them. Apart from your regular visits, however, a good nursing home should be able to provide your senior loved ones with all the love and care they can give as if they were taken care of by their own family.

But not every nursing home has that standard of care. Emotional and social needs neglect     can happen when:

  • Being impatient with seniors who suffer from mental problems and weaknesses;
  • Failure to give patients that daily chance to socialize with other seniors in the nursing home;
  • Unwillingness to spend time to talk with, and listen to senior patients when they open up and talk about matters of the heart.
  1. Meet Up With A Lawyer

When you send your loved ones to a nursing home or facility, there’s a legal contract that binds the two of you. This legal document may stipulate all the duties, responsibilities, and expectations of the nursing home and the patients themselves. Any failure to comply with the duties legally set forth in the contract is tantamount to either a civil or criminal case.

In order to put an end to that neglect, it’s important to meet with a lawyer, so you can file the case in court.

The whole point of suing the nursing home isn’t always about the payout or compensation your senior loved one is going to receive. Rather, it’s about putting in the hands of the law the deliberate neglect perpetrated by the nursing home, so they can either be suspended, revoked off their license, or, depending on the severity of the neglect, be asked to stop operations.

This puts an end to a possible never-ending cycle of neglect wherein after your case, the nursing home may still continue doing the abuse and neglect to their other patients as well.

  1. Document All The Warning Signs You Notice

As soon as you or any of your family members start to notice tell-tale signs of abuse, be sure you take documentary evidence of each one. Some senior patients may be distant and may not answer any questions related to the abuse they go through. But, if your loved ones do, then take their responses in writing. You never know when these patients may forget what happened, so when they do remember, document all those accounts.

Doing so can help strengthen your case, particularly when the nursing home may try to refute your claims.

Write down all the dates and times when you notice the signs and when your loved ones tell you about what’s going on. If you notice any physical evidence, then take photos of these, too.

  1. Get In Touch With A Doctor

When you’re not a medical professional, it’s important to call a doctor, so that proper care can be given to your senior loved one. If you can’t pull them out from the nursing home right at that instant, at least have a doctor check them regularly.

The presence of a doctor is very important. First, there’s finally a medical professional recording the abuse and injuries. This account from the physician can help strengthen your case when you bring it up in court, as accounts from doctors hold weight.

Most importantly, they can ensure that your senior loved one doesn’t succumb to even more abuse. Should proper medication be needed, you can now give the proper treatment, before relocating your senior loved one to another nursing home – or bringing them back home to you.


As you can see, nursing home abuse isn’t something to be taken lightly. If left unchecked, it’s a serious crime that may even potentially lead to a loved one’s demise. Once you notice the early signs of neglect in your senior loved one, take action immediately. You should then look for an alternative. Websites such as Nursing Home Database can assist you in locating a better facility with competent staff. You can compare reviews and terms for thousands of nursing homes in their database before choosing a different facility.

Nursing homes are under a very high legal obligation to ensure the best standards of care are given to a vulnerable demographic of individuals, particularly those that are enjoying the sunset years of their life. When neglect and abuse happen, you’ve got a recourse. The tips above can guide you.

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