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What is Nursing Home Negligence? Signs To Look Out For

When you or a loved one moves into a nursing home, a certain level of care, cleanliness, and support is expected. The unfortunate truth is that those expectations are not always met.  

We’ve all heard horror stories of nursing home negligence and elder abuse. Ontario’s population is rapidly aging, and today’s seniors tend to have more complex care needs. On top of that, nursing homes are struggling to maintain staff, creating a human resources crisis in Ontario care homes.  

personal injury lawyer for nursing home negligence 

Talk to a personal injury lawyer about legal options 

Vulnerable seniors are forced to bear the brunt of a health care system stretched to an almost-breaking point. Unsurprisingly, lawsuits against nursing homes — also called long-term care (“LTC”) homes, continuing care facilities, or residential care homes—are on the rise.  

If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home abuse or neglect, there may be grounds for legal action. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer who can explain legal rights and options and help pursue a negligence claim against the nursing home, whether the facility is publicly or privately owned.  

If you suspect negligence but aren’t sure, there are signs to look out for. Read on for signs of nursing home negligence and what to do if you or a loved one has suffered injury due to care home negligence.  

Signs of Nursing Home Negligence  

At its core, nursing home negligence involves poor care or breaches of the duty of care owed to residents. That can take many forms, including financial exploitation. Nursing home theft and financial abuse are extremely serious, but in today’s post, the focus is on another dire issue: signs of nursing home negligence that can lead to personal injury, psychological harm, or death of a care facility resident. Here are the signs that should not be ignored:  

  • The resident does not want to be left alone with nursing home employees (or conversely, the nursing home employees don’t want you to be alone with the resident) 

  • The resident has unexplained wounds, bruises, bedsores, infections, dislocations/sprains, or scars 

  • The resident suffers slip and fall injuries 

  • Drastic changes in the resident’s physical or mental health, such as drastic weight loss, dehydration, unusual behaviour, social withdrawal, or unexplained cognitive decline 

  • Poor personal hygiene and/or unsanitary conditions in the resident’s room or the facility’s common areas 

  • The resident appears overmedicated or undermedicated 

  • The resident shows signs of physical restraint (bruises/welts on wrists or ankles, for example) 

  • The resident shows signs of unexplained sexual contact (bleeding or bruising, STDs) 

  • The resident’s health rapidly declines for no apparent medical reason  

  • Unexpected or suspicious death of a nursing home resident 

Of course, the resident may also report harm to you, complain about the treatment they’re receiving, or tell you they have concerns about their safety or feel afraid. Those concerns must be taken seriously, reported, and properly investigated.  

What to do about nursing home negligence 

You may suspect—or actually witness—harmful, controlling, abusive, or suspicious behaviour by nursing home staff. Any such behaviour should be immediately reported. Ensure the resident receives proper medical care and that injuries are documented. Make notes of what you saw and what the resident reported, take photos of visible injuries or unsafe conditions, and get copies of medical records and incident reports, etc

If what you suspect or witnessed involves abuse, harm, or danger to a resident, you should report it to the Long-Term Care ACTION Line at 1-866-434-0144 and contact a personal injury lawyer ASAP for legal advice. If you suspect abuse and the resident’s safety is in immediate concern, you should also call the police. 

Do you have a negligence case against a nursing home?  

Depending on the circumstances, there may be legal grounds for a personal injury lawsuit against a nursing home. The best way to determine if you have an actionable negligence claim is to connect with a personal injury lawyer. You can contact our law firm for a free, no obligation case evaluation

If the negligence or abuse resulted in the death of the resident, a wrongful death lawsuit may be warranted. In Ontario, the Family Law Act gives certain family members (spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters) the legal right to sue if a person is injured or killed by the fault or negligence of another.  

Get help from an experienced personal injury lawyer 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of compassionate lawyers for advice if you or a loved one is being harmed, abused, or neglected in a nursing home. We can review the situation, explain your rights and legal options, and help devise a strategy to address the nursing home negligence head-on.  

You need a trustworthy advocate on your side. We are not afraid to stand up to care facilities. We encourage you to connect with a personal injury lawyer at our offices in Oshawa or Lindsay today. 


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