Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect is the failure of an assisted living facility or its employees to properly care for a resident. This can include failing to provide food, water, or basic personal and medical care or failing to prevent falls, bedsores, and infections. If you or your loved one experienced neglect in a nursing home, Sokolove Law may be able to help.

Get a Free Nursing Home Case Review

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing home neglect occurs when a resident in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or another long-term care facility is not adequately cared for by staff members.

According to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, nursing home residents have the “right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment, and involuntary seclusion.”

Under these federal laws, nursing home abuse that causes physical injury, pain, or mental anguish violates a person’s rights.

“For decades, nursing homes have been plagued with reports suggesting widespread and serious maltreatment of residents, including abuse, neglect, and theft of personal property.”

– National Institutes for Health (NIH)

Tragically, elderly neglect by nursing home staff is widespread. In fact, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) reports that about 95% of nursing home residents have either been neglected or have witnessed neglect.

Learn More About Your Options

If you or your loved one experienced neglect in a nursing home facility, an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer with Sokolove Law can help you understand your legal options.

Contact Us

Negligence in Nursing Homes

Nursing home neglect is often proof of nursing home negligence (in a legal sense). However, the legal definition of nursing home negligence can be different in each state. Unfortunately, these differences across jurisdictions can make it difficult to know when to seek help.

A lack of staffing is often blamed for nursing home neglect. Sympathetic loved ones may overlook neglect, thinking staff is doing the best they can do. However, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed many gaps in nursing home staffing that existed all along.

“Even before the pandemic, the U.S. government failed to ensure that nursing homes were adequately staffed and regulated.”

– Laura Mills, Human Rights Watch

Due to the differences in defining neglect, compounded by the pandemic being used by corporations to justify understaffing, nursing home residents may be at significant risk for harm and distress. Negligence in nursing homes can lead to falls, broken bones, dehydration, and bedsores, just to name a few potential injuries.

The nursing home negligence lawyers working with Sokolove Law have decades of experience investigating cases of nursing home neglect. We can help victims and their families hold nursing homes accountable.

Types of Neglect in Nursing Homes

According to the National Institutes for Health (NIH), nursing home neglect is the most difficult form of elder abuse to define.

Nursing home elder neglect is generally categorized into several types:

  • Medical neglect
  • Neglect of basic needs
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Emotional neglect

While neglect may not seem as dangerous as nursing home abuse, this is far from the truth. Elderly nursing home residents are in these facilities precisely because they are unable to do many day-to-day things on their own.

Examples of Nursing Home Neglect

In an NIH focus group, caregivers provided the following examples of neglect in nursing home care:

  • Allowing older adults to become dehydrated
  • Bathing elderly residents too infrequently
  • Failing to help residents with toileting
  • Failing to perform proper care of pressure sores or bedsores
  • Failing to provide care for other health issues such as dental care
  • Ignoring bedridden residents, especially not offering them activities for emotional well-being
  • Not changing the clothes or linens of incontinent residents
  • Performing one-person transfers when two people are needed
  • Skipping motion exercises
  • Turning off call lights without providing care to elderly people

Sadly, nursing home neglect can be the tipping point for many frail residents, leading to preventable hospital visits and even wrongful death.

Get the Help Your Family Deserves

You may be eligible for compensation. We may be able to help.

Get a Free Case Review

Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Knowing the warning signs of neglect is critical to keeping your loved one safe from physical and emotional harm.

Nursing home neglect can cause serious issues, such as malnutrition, dehydration, bedsores, falls, and wrongful death. Common infections caused by poor hygiene or wound care can quickly turn into deadly sepsis, and preventable hospital transfers are often too much trauma for already frail residents to bear.

Red flags of nursing home neglect may include:

  • Constant thirst or dry skin
  • Loss of mobility
  • Medication errors
  • Mistreatment or inadequate medical treatment
  • Poor hygiene, including soiled linens
  • Serious skin problems, such as pressure ulcers or bedsores
  • Social isolation
  • Sudden changes in mental health
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Weight loss or weakness

Nursing home neglect lawsuits can be a way to protect our most vulnerable population, who are often unable to be their own advocates.

File a Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit

When nursing home neglect occurs, the facility and its employees can be held liable. Negligent contractors and third parties hired by the nursing home may also be at fault for nursing home neglect.

When you work with Sokolove Law, a nursing home neglect attorney may be able to help:

  • Determine if you’re eligible to take legal action
  • Gather the evidence required to prove negligence has occurred
  • File a nursing home neglect lawsuit on your behalf
  • Pursue compensation and justice for you and your family

We handle nursing home neglect lawsuits on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay unless the case is successful.

Call (800) 995-1212 or get a free case review today to learn more about your potential legal options.

Why Hire Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers?

Nursing home neglect is a very serious matter. What often begins as seemingly minor offenses that can be justified by busy employees can quickly turn into deadly consequences for frail seniors.

Nursing home neglect lawyers may be able to help you:

  • Take legal action over what happened to you or your loved one
  • Hold the abuser(s) accountable for their negligence
  • Prevent your loved one from serious harm moving forward
  • Protect other nursing home residents from experiencing neglect as well
  • Pursue compensation that can help cover the costs of medical care

Get a free legal case review today or call (800) 995-1212 to speak with a member of our team. Our Case Managers are standing by to answer your questions and help determine if you have a case.

Report Nursing Home Neglect

The biggest thing to remember is that nursing home neglect will not stop on its own. Heartbreakingly, nursing home residents are usually too compromised or embarrassed to report neglect on their own before it snowballs into serious physical harm.

“Over 50% of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating older patients within the prior year.”

– National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

When family members suspect nursing home neglect, talking with their loved one can help determine what is happening. Reporting nursing home neglect early is critical in protecting your loved one from something much more severe.

If you’re unsure of whether there’s wrongdoing, a nursing home neglect lawyer in your state can help you determine if you have a case. If so, a nursing home neglect lawsuit may be able to provide victims with compensation.

Nursing home neglect lawsuits also hold facilities accountable for causing needless suffering, which may prevent it from happening to others.

How Sokolove Law Can Help

Nursing home neglect lawyers with Sokolove Law have been fighting for victims of nursing home abuse and neglect for decades. Over the last 40+ years, we have recovered over $216 Million for nursing home abuse and neglect victims and their loved ones.

As a national nursing home abuse law firm with a licensed attorney in nearly every state, we may be able to file a legal claim on your behalf, no matter where you live. Let your legal team handle the legwork, while you focus on taking care of your family during this challenging time.

Get a free consultation today to learn more about your legal options. You can also call (800) 995-1212 to speak with a member of our team right away.

Nursing Home Neglect FAQs

What is considered nursing home neglect?

Nursing home neglect is the failure or refusal by a nursing home or its employees to provide adequate care to a resident. This includes failing to provide such things as food, water, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, and personal safety.

If you or your loved one experienced neglect in a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Learn more about your potential legal options today.

Can you sue a nursing home for neglect?

It is possible to sue a nursing home for neglect, particularly if the neglect led to a preventable injury or wrongful death. This often depends on the severity and type of injuries the victim suffered, the expenses that stemmed from their injuries, and the specific laws in the state where they were injured. Contact Sokolove Law today to see if you may have a potential case.

How do you prove nursing home neglect?

While you don’t need definitive proof of neglect to report it, documenting the neglect is always important.

Documentation that may be helpful to prove nursing home neglect includes:

  • Diaries kept by the nursing home resident or their loved ones
  • Medical records documenting serious injuries or poor quality of care
  • Notes summarizing conversations with staff, including date, time, and employee name
  • Photographs of medications believed to be given improperly
  • Photographs of a resident’s injuries

When you work with Sokolove Law, a nursing home neglect lawyer can handle the legal process on your behalf, including gathering the evidence necessary to prove negligence. Contact us today to learn more.

Who do I report nursing home neglect to?

If you are a victim of nursing home neglect, or if you suspect that someone you know is a victim, you should report the abuse immediately.

If someone is in life-threatening danger, call 911. Your local ombudsman may be able to help with non-immediate danger.

Author:Sokolove Law Team
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: October 19, 2021

View 6 Sources
  1. BMC Health Services Research. “Elder Abuse And Neglect: An Overlooked Patient Safety Issue. A Focus Group Study Of Nursing Home Leaders’ Perceptions Of Elder Abuse And Neglect.” Retrieved from: https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-020-5047-4. Accessed on September 7, 2021.
  2. Human Rights Watch. “US: Concerns of Neglect in Nursing Homes.” Retrieved from: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/03/25/us-concerns-neglect-nursing-homes#. Accessed on September 7, 2021.
  3. Hawes C. (2003). Elder Abuse in Residential Long-Term Care Settings: What Is Known and What Information Is Needed? In: National Research Council (US) Panel to Review Risk and Prevalence of Elder Abuse and Neglect; Bonnie RJ, Wallace RB, editors. Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK98786/. Accessed on September 7, 2021.
  4. National Center on Elder Abuse. (n.d.). “Research, Statistics, and Data.” Retrieved from: https://ncea.acl.gov/What-We-Do/Research/Statistics-and-Data.aspx. Accessed on September 7, 2021.
  5. National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). “Abuse of Residents of Long Term Care Facilities.” Retrieved from: https://ncea.acl.gov/NCEA/media/docs/Abuse-of-Residents-of-Long-Term-Care-Facilities-(2012)_1.pdf. Accessed on September 7, 2021.
  6. European Journal of Public Health. “The Prevalence Of Elder Abuse In Institutional Settings: A Systematic Review And Meta-analysis.” Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1093/eurpub/cky093. Accessed on September 7, 2021.