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The Top Complaints Residents Have About Nursing Homes

— April 21, 2022

Nursing home residents often feel isolated from the world.

Millions of disabled or older adults stay in nursing homes all over the United States. These facilities often provide care and comfort to the vulnerable, but residents and their family members have reported many complaints. Many seniors fall victims to neglect and abuse in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Today, we will discuss such matters, helping you understand what to watch out for if someone you love lives in such a home and begins complaining or shows strange symptoms or behaviors. 

Sexual Assault

The disabled and the elderly are taken to nursing homes to receive professional care and feel appreciated. The staff members that work in nursing homes are trained for that particular job, and residents usually expect nothing short of love and protection from them. Unfortunately, their families have abandoned some of them, and the facilities are their only home.

Ironically, some of these facilities harbor the most unthinkable dark deeds. Thousands of sexual assault cases have been reported. In some cases, the management doesn’t even take any action against the perpetrators. Some of these are cases of negligence by the management and government officials.

Some cases of sexual assault have made it to the national and global news and have been covered by powerful media houses like CNN. But unfortunately, trusted caregivers commit offenses against elderly and mentally ill patients in most cases. Sometimes, the offenders get caught and are convicted to a jail sentence, but sadly many cases go unreported.

Misuse of Antipsychotic Drugs

Reports of caregivers forcefully administering drugs to patients without a proper diagnosis being conducted on them are on the rise. Some families have complained about their family members in nursing homes being turned into ‘zombies’ and their personalities being completely stripped off by antipsychotic drugs.

A recent report showed that 197,000 nursing home residents are administered antipsychotic drugs each week for diseases like schizophrenia without an approved diagnosis. Caregivers give them these drugs to suppress their behaviors and tame conditions like dementia, which can cause severe damage to the nervous system.

Staffing Issues and Slow Response

Some nursing facilities suffer from staff shortages, resulting in extremely high workloads for the few staff available. Unfortunately, many nursing homes also hire undertrained staff who don’t know how to give proper professional care. This results in the already vulnerable patients doing some tasks by themselves, like lifting heavy objects, which puts them at risk. 

There are many complaints of slow call response or rudeness when residents ask for help using the in-house calling facilities. This could be a result of high staff overload or pure negligence. This causes the patients to feel uncared for and like their needs are not being met on time or as appropriately as they need. 

According to a Baltimore nursing home abuse lawyer, nursing home negligence or abuse is an offense and should be reported. Moreover, the resident’s family should file complaints to the facility’s administration or parent company. The next logical step is getting a lawyer and building a nursing home abuse or neglect case. If ignored, they can also lead to wrongful death cases. Seeking compensation and bringing the offenders to justice concern many people whose elder family members went through neglect or abuse.

Other Resident Complaints

Elderly man and woman sitting
Elderly man and woman sitting; image courtesy of StockSnap via Pixabay,

While sexual, physical, emotional, or financial abuse overshadows other nursing home residents’ complaints, it doesn’t mean other issues are less important. 

Poor Food Quality

As the number of people admitted to nursing facilities increases, it becomes harder to provide quality, balanced diets to residents. As a result, most patients often complain about having inadequate meals or imbalanced ones. However, most nursing homes residents are vulnerable and need delicate care, and giving them a variety of nutritious, high-quality meals should be a priority.

Sleep Disruptions

Since most nursing home residents have health issues, caregivers have to work round the clock to give them maximum attention.

In addition, some residents will need to have their vital signs checked in the middle of the night, and others will require medication and first aid. Some disturbed residents may start making noises, or workers may be chatting loudly in the middle of the night and causing sleep disruptions to the rest.

Lack of Social Interaction

Nursing home residents often feel isolated from the world. While nursing facilities are supposed to feel like home, staff members cannot replace family members during social interactions, since they do not have the time and attend to multiple people simultaneously.

Loss of Personal Items

Nursing home residents with conditions like dementia have been found going through their fellow residents’ belongings and leaving with some stuff. Some caregivers are also not trustworthy and make away with patients’ valuable possessions like jewelry. Some losses also occur due to the residents’ forgetfulness or carelessness. 

Bottom Line

If you have someone living in a nursing home or other facility types who complains about their daily living situation, the staff, or things that happen to them, don’t ignore them. Instead, initiate an investigation and get legal counsel just to be sure. Nursing home abuse and neglect are unfortunately way too common to be dismissed. 

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