What Are the Most Common Issues in Nursing Homes?

Are your loved ones aging to a point where you might need to consider putting them in a nursing home? This is no easy decision. You might feel a lot of guilt about not being able to care for them the way that they deserve, especially if you’ve heard some of the horror stories surrounding nursing homes. To keep your loved ones safe, here are the most common issues you should look out for.

Bed Sores

Bed sores, or pressure sores, are lesions that form on the skin due to inactivity. This happens when seniors spend too much time sitting or lying in one spot. There have been many legal cases of bed sores in nursing homes that have led to the death of residents. This is because when bed sores are not cleaned and treated properly, they have the potential to become septic, putting the afflicted person at a much higher risk of death.

To prevent bed sores from forming, seniors mustn’t stay sitting in any one spot for too long. When touring potential nursing homes for your loved one, be sure to take note of how sedentary the residents are and ask the staff questions about what actions they take to prevent these issues.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Another one of the most common issues in nursing homes is slip and fall accidents. Senior citizens have a much more difficult time getting around and therefore tend to require the assistance of a walker or wheelchair. Staff members must help residents with mobility issues when they’re getting in and out of wheelchairs, helping to guide them and provide support so that they don’t fall.

When touring potential nursing homes, you should take note of how hands-on the staff is with residents. Additionally, you should look for other safety measures, like handrails and buttons that allow residents to call for the help of staff.

Medication Errors

One of the benefits of moving your loved one into a nursing home is that the staff can help ensure that they receive their required medications on time. Unfortunately, as with anything else, mistakes can happen. Residents could end up getting the wrong dosage, or even the wrong medication. Both of these accidents could have severe consequences. If given the wrong dosage, the resident’s medication isn’t likely to work the way that it’s intended, putting them at risk of having their symptoms and conditions worsen.

If a resident is given the wrong medication, there is the potential that this Medicean could react negatively with the one they’ve been taking and harm them. Additionally, they could end up having an allergic reaction to the medication they were not supposed to receive. When doing your research on potential nursing homes, be sure to look out for any history that facilities might have had with medication errors.


As many people age, they might begin to struggle with things like eating, putting them at a much higher risk of choking. To prevent this issue, nursing home staff must be very attentive during meals, ready to step in and save a life if need be. They should help residents cut their food into more manageable pieces and ensure that they fully chew it before swallowing.

When touring nursing homes, you should take note of how present staff members are during mealtimes—are they watching the residents, or are they distracted? Additionally, take note of the meals that these facilities are serving. The food given to residents should be easy to chew to ensure that there are no accidents.

Mental Decline

As you age, you will lose the function of any muscles that you do not properly exercise. This is true even of your brain. Because of this, senior citizens in nursing homes must receive regular mental stimulation and engagement. Nursing home staff should plan activities that exercise different parts of their brains, like board games and arts and crafts.

Additionally, they should socialize regularly with residents and encourage them to socialize with others. To keep them feeling connected with the rest of society, they should organize events that get them out of the facility—like a group trip to the park, to the mall, or to go see a play.

All of these activities will not only help to keep elders engaged and prevent mental decline, but they will keep them happy and help them enjoy their remaining years. When visiting potential facilities, it should be fairly easy to gauge how happy and stimulated the residents are.


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