What is considered nursing home negligence

When our grandparents or older loved ones get too old to live alone, we seek for them a safe place where they’ll stay happy, right? But sometimes, the people working at these nursing homes don’t do their jobs properly. They might neglect or mistreat the older folks living there. That’s called nursing home negligence, and it’s not okay.

The main reason we put together this article is to learn more about what constitutes nursing home neglect so we can protect our loved ones from elder abuse.

What is nursing home negligence?

Have you visited your older loved one in a nursing home and realized they have been looking sadder lately? Their room is kind of messy, and they seem hungrier than usual. You should start worrying that maybe the staff might be neglecting them and not giving them proper care.

In simple terms, nursing home negligence means caregivers are not doing their job of providing good care to their residents. It’s a form of abuse that happens when the staff is neglectful and causes harm or suffering to the older adults living there.

Some nursing home neglect include,

  • Leaving residents alone for too long
  • Not calling doctors when residents need help
  • Not bathing or changing resident’s clothes regularly
  • Not giving residents enough food and water
  • Not treating injuries, bedsores, or other medical issues

While nursing home negligence is not as bad as physical abuse, neglect is still very harmful to the fragile health of any nursing home resident. The good news is that if your loved one is a victim of neglect, you can take legal action.

Types of nursing home negligence


This is when caregivers altogether abandon a resident and don’t care for them at all. They abandon their responsibilities entirely without any concern for the resident’s well-being.

Abandonment like this leaves any resident in danger and puts them at risk of physical harm.

Medical Neglect

This is not providing proper medical treatment for health problems like infections, mobility issues, etc.

Studies show that nursing home residents are given at least one inappropriate medication by staff, with female residents receiving it more often than males. Untreated or misdiagnosed conditions can become life-threatening to the residents.

Basic need neglect

This includes not giving residents enough food, water, or providing a safe, clean environment. Lack of these basic necessities can cause malnutrition, dehydration, and safety risks.

Hygiene neglect

This includes not helping the residents bathe, use the bathroom, do their laundry, etc. If these are neglected, their hygiene and appearance suffer.

Social neglect

This includes ignoring residents and not letting them interact with others. This is more common with residents with disabilities.

Signs your loved one is being neglected

How can you tell that neglect is happening in your loved one’s nursing homes?

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • Behavior changes: If you notice your old loved ones are acting fearful, withdrawn, avoiding touch, and having increased confusion, you should start looking deeper.
  • Money issues: Suppose your loved one you entrusted to a nursing home has valuables, money, or credit cards missing. This is a sign they’re being exploited financially.
  • Restrain marks and unexplained injuries: If you see bruises on your loved one’s wrist or ankles, this could mean they were restrained illegally without an emergency situation.
  • If the staff cannot properly explain frequent serious injuries and bruises, cuts, fractures, or bedsores on your old loved one, it is also a sign that there might be some neglect or even abuse.
  • Being prevented from alone time: If the staff doesn’t leave you alone with your loved ones, they may be hiding neglectful treatment.
  • Poor hygiene and health deterioration: If your loved one has poor dental health, is unbathed, or wears soiled clothes, these are among the signs they’re being neglected. In addition, if you observe dramatic weight loss or exceptionally dry skin, it likely means they aren’t getting proper food and water.

Causes of Nursing Home Neglect

Why does nursing home negligence happen so often? Here are the three biggest reasons.

Understaffing: When there are not enough caregivers in a nursing home, each resident gets less attention and is most likely to be neglected.

Hiring Issues: Nursing homes need to conduct background checks. When this is not considered, they often hire unqualified or abusive staff, which leads to negative results.

Poor training: Staff who aren’t adequately trained are more likely to neglect residents’ needs through carelessness.

What to do about nursing home negligence in Chicago

If you suspect your loved one is being neglected, you have the option to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit. First, report your nursing home abuse claim to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s nursing home hotline at 1-800-252-4343. They’ll investigate your case and follow the nursing home care act.

You can also hire a lawyer to file a nursing home abuse claim lawsuit against the nursing home for negligence. Your nursing home negligence lawyer will ensure the home is held accountable and that you and your family are compensated for elder abuse and mistreatment.

Look for nursing home abuse lawyers specializing in nursing home cases, like The Finn law firm, who have experience advocating for residents’ rights. Don’t wait—the sooner you get legal help, the better your chance of stopping the neglect and getting justice.


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