Staff Inattention at Nursing Homes

The Six Warning Signs, What They Mean

Staff Inattention

The most common complaint against nursing homes as reported to state and federal agencies is the staff’s failure to respond in a timely manner.  Your loved one is in a nursing home because he or she needs special care and supervision that can’t be found elsewhere.  Staff inattention decreases the comfort and quality in the lives of nursing home residents and increases their risk of serious injury and death.

While they may intend the best for your loved ones, when nursing home staff are too overworked to respond to the call button, problems multiply.  Medication is given too often or, just as bad, not at all.  Patients are left for long periods of time unattended in chairs or beds.  Hygiene suffers.  Weight loss and other signs of serious illness are overlooked.  The patient is ignored or forgotten.

Nursing Homes Are Businesses

Though they are entrusted with the lives and wellbeing of our loved ones, at their core nursing homes remain businesses.  And one way that businesses make a profit is by reducing qualified staff.

When underpaid nursing home staff works overtime to make ends meet, it is harder for them to have the presence of mind necessary for tending to the individual under their care.  And when turnover is high, the long hours wearing on inexperienced staff can have disastrous consequences.

Read the Nursing Home Reports

Reading staff reports is a great way of checking up on how attentive your loved one’s nursing home staff are.  If your mother has been in a coma for the past year but staff has written that she was up and walking around last week as one CBS News article reports one very shocked daughter found, then you know there’s a problem.

Let’s face it: nursing home staff often deal with the dirty side of aging and are directly responsible daily for more lives than most of us.  This stress sometimes this leads some nursing home nurses, aides, and other staff to give patients the wrong kind of attention while it sometimes causes other caregivers to withdraw needed care.

Many people in nursing home care because of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia need constant attention to prevent them from wandering off and getting in harm’s way.  Nursing home facilities must be held accountable when individuals wander off or take the unsafe shortcut of restraints.  When your loved one has been found unattended, staff inattention and laziness is to blame, not the patient.

Being Present at the Nursing Home, Even When You’re Not There

Nursing home residents who are visited often tend to receive better care.  If you can’t visit in person, then by all means call and talk to the people who take care of your loved one.  When you do visit, try to make occasional trips outside of your regular schedule and try to make friends with other residents at the nursing home and ask them about your loved one.  As one ABC News story reports, most negligent abuse occurs because of the low traffic through nursing homes.

Laywers for Change

If you feel someone you love is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, take the few minutes to fill out our contact sheet. Our nursing home abuse lawyers working across the U.S. are experienced in finding justice for our clients. Evaluation of your case is free, and we only charge when you win. Click to speak with an experienced elder law and nursing home neglect attorney.

Make sure your loved one is receiving the treatment they rightfully deserve.


  • The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform offers good advice about what you and your family can do to help prevent abuse and neglect of your loved one in nursing home care.
  • Alice Dembner of The Boston Globe depicts the horrors of one nursing home and the brave families who came together to make a change in one Massachusetts state home.  It gives hope to anyone with a family member in a nursing home to make lasting change in their state.