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5 Common Complaints of Nursing Home Residents

Much like a hotel or restaurant, nursing homes and long-term care facilities offer a service that requires a high degree of care when it comes to meeting resident needs. Quality nursing homes are not just care facilities, but are also businesses that rely upon quality customer service from staff.

When residents and families file grievances or review a facility based on quality, we’ve noted there are a few key areas that tend to come up most often. To aid families searching for the right facility for loved ones, we’ve compiled a list of the most common complaints from long-term care residents.

5 Common Complaints of Nursing Home Residents:

  1. Poor service from staff: Residents often rely on staff in ways that make them feel vulnerable. They know that if there is an emergency, the amount of time it takes for staff members to respond can be crucial to their well-being. Therefore, residents should feel confident that their needs will be met in an empathetic and timely manner.
  2. Poor-quality food: Assisted living facilities are meant to foster a healthy and homelike environment. While it is difficult to satisfy the tastes of every resident, facilities must take the initiative to provide good-tasting food, encourage appetite in residents and provide a comfortable dining experience.
  3. A lack of social stimulation: Residents often report feelings of isolation and a lack of desired engagement with friends and family. Quality facilities should encourage regular social activity among residents, provide appropriate communication aids when necessary and make it easy for friends and family to visit residents when it best suits them.
  4. Undertrained staff: Residents often express anxiety associated with staff that may lack proper training, often due to improper staffing. One-in-three nursing facility residents suffer from medication errors due to undertrained or overworked staff, and that is a major concern for residents and their families. Many residents also report fear associated with lifting equipment due to staff that lacks training with the machines and makes the procedure more alarming and uncomfortable than necessary.
  5. Noisy neighbors: Facilities should ensure that residents aren’t disturbed by loud TVs, agitated neighbors or loud conversations between workers. Good sleep hygiene is one of the simplest ways to benefit residents’ physical and mental health and reduce conflict among residents.

When disagreements arise between residents and a facility, the residents and their families can usually discuss their concerns with a staff member or supervisor. However, if that is not found to be sufficient, they are encouraged to speak with the local ombudsman assigned to that facility. A nursing home ombudsman is an advocate for residents to help address complaints and seek out state agencies for enforcement of best practices if facilities fail to comply.

If you or a loved one has similar complaints in a current facility, or believe there are more serious problems present such as abuse or neglect, your local ombudsman can help you file a formal complaint. After that, you may consider consulting with experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys like those at Hupy and Abraham who can answer questions and advise you on how to proceed.

To contact the law firm of Hupy and Abraham, call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat anytime at