top of page
  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

5 Signs You May Have a Case Against a Nursing Home

Quality care in nursing homes is a right, not a privilege. It's crucial that residents of these establishments receive the highest degree of care and compassion. However, there are times when this doesn't happen, and you may need to step in. Here are five signs indicating you may have a case against a nursing home.

Unexplained Injuries

Unexplained injuries are a tell-tale sign of possible abuse or negligence in a nursing home. These could range from bruising to more severe conditions like fractures. If your loved one has injuries that the nursing home staff cannot or will not explain, it's a warning sign that something may be amiss. It's essential to document these injuries and consult with a professional for advice on how best to proceed.

Sudden Changes in Behavior or Emotional State

Nursing home residents may experience changes in behavior or emotional state due to various factors, including underlying health conditions. However, if you notice sudden and unexplainable changes like withdrawal, fearfulness, or depression, it could be a sign of neglect or abuse. These issues may also manifest as changes in personal hygiene or unexplained weight loss, indicating possible mistreatment.

Lack of Proper Medical Care

Nursing homes are responsible for providing adequate medical care to their residents. If you notice that your loved one is not receiving proper medication, treatment, or regular check-ups, it could indicate negligence on the part of the nursing home. Keep track of any missed or delayed appointments, and consult with a lawyer to determine if there is a case for neglect.

Poor Living Conditions

Nursing homes are required to maintain clean and safe living conditions for their residents. If you notice issues like unclean facilities, infestations, lack of basic necessities like food and water, or hazardous conditions, it could be a sign of neglect. It's crucial to document these issues and report them to the appropriate authorities.

Lack of Personal Attention

One of the primary reasons for placing a loved one in a nursing home is to ensure they receive proper care and attention. If you notice that your loved one is being ignored or neglected by staff members, it could be a sign of understaffing or lack of training. Keep track of any instances where your loved one's calls for assistance go unanswered and report them to the nursing home administration.

Inadequate Staff Training

Nursing homes are required to train their staff adequately on how to care for elderly residents, including those with complex medical needs. If you notice that staff members seem untrained or inexperienced, it could lead to serious consequences for your loved one. Document any incidents where staff members make mistakes or fail to provide necessary care and bring them to the attention of the nursing home administration.

Financial Exploitation

Unfortunately, financial exploitation is a common form of abuse in nursing homes. Staff members may take advantage of vulnerable residents by stealing money, manipulating them into giving gifts or loans, or pressuring them to change their wills. If your loved one suddenly has unexplained financial changes or seems fearful of discussing money matters, it could be a sign of financial exploitation. Consult with a lawyer to determine if there is a case for neglect and take immediate action to protect your loved one's assets.

Emotional Neglect

Emotional neglect is a form of abuse that can be difficult to detect, but it has serious consequences for the well-being of residents. Signs of emotional neglect may include social isolation, lack of personal interactions with staff or other residents, and changes in behavior, such as depression or anxiety. If you notice any signs of emotional neglect, speak with your loved one's doctor and

Rapid Health Decline

A sudden or rapid decline in health could signal substandard care in the nursing home. This could manifest as signs of malnutrition, dehydration, or sudden weight loss. If your loved one's health is deteriorating faster than can be accounted for by their medical condition, it might be time to question the quality of care they are receiving.

Emotional or Behavioral Changes

Changes in behaviour or emotional status can also indicate possible mistreatment. If your loved one seems anxious, depressed, or fearful, or if they're acting out of character and the nursing home staff can't provide a reasonable explanation, it's important to investigate further.

Poor Facility Conditions

The condition of the facility itself can tell you a lot about the quality of care provided. Uncleanliness, bad odors, or evidence of poor maintenance are all signs of neglect. The residents of the facility deserve a clean and safe environment, and failure to provide this is unacceptable. If you notice any of these signs, it's important to address them with the nursing home administration.

Lack of Staffing or High Turnover

A lack of adequate staff or high turnover rates among employees can also be red flags for neglect. With too few staff members, residents may not receive the attention and care they need. High turnover rates could indicate a toxic work environment, resulting in a lack of consistency and continuity in care for the residents. It's vital to ensure that there is enough staff to properly care for the residents and that they are treated well in their workplace.

Unexplained Injuries or Bruises

Unexplained injuries or bruises on your loved one can also be signs of neglect or abuse. If your loved one has unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries, it's important to ask the staff for an explanation. If their answers are not satisfactory or if you suspect they may be covering up neglect or abuse, it's important to take action and investigate further.

Staff's Reluctance to Communicate

If the nursing home staff are reluctant to communicate about your loved one's care, it's a major red flag. Open communication is key to ensuring the best care possible. If you're being kept in the dark, it could indicate a problem.

In conclusion, it's crucial to be vigilant in observing these signs. If you believe your loved one may be experiencing neglect or abuse in a nursing home, don't hesitate to act. Contact a professional at Leitner Varughese Warywoda for advice and take the necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved one.


While moving a loved one into a nursing home can be a difficult decision, it's crucial to pay attention to any signs of neglect or abuse. Poor facility conditions, lack of staffing or high turnover rates, and unexplained injuries are all indicators that something may be wrong. It's important to address these issues with the nursing home administration and take further action if necessary to ensure your loved one receives the care and attention they deserve. By being proactive and vigilant, we can protect our loved ones from neglect


bottom of page