Elder Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes and Long-term Care Facilities

Elder Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes and Long-term Care Facilities

January 20, 2021 Off By Glespynorson

Bogoroch & Associates LLP strongly believes that victims of Nursing home negligence are entitled to access to justice.

The Toronto Star launched an investigation into GTA nursing homes after receiving several complaints from readers of signs of neglect.  What they found was startling.  A resident in a Bradford home was left alone on a toilet, fell, and sustained a head injury.  Several residents in a Hamilton home reported untreated bedsores and a lack of food.  An Etobicoke nursing home was accused of rationing diapers.  A woman in a Pickering nursing home suffered from a broken thighbone for days without treatment, and residents in a Brantford home frequently missed their weekly baths thanks to a lack of staff.  Many of these complaints were uncovered through an inspection system created by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.  In many cases of neglect, families had no idea what their loved ones were going through.

Elder Abuse Comes in Many Different Forms, Including:

Physical abuse – the use of force against an older adult resulting in physical pain or injury.  Physical abuse includes physical assaults such as hitting and the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.

Emotional abuse – treatment that causes emotional pain.  This may include intimidation through yelling, humiliation, or ridicule, infantilization, isolating the individual from friends or activities, or any other action that diminishes the elder’s sense of dignity and self-worth.

Sexual abuse – Any sexual behavior directed at an individual without their consent.

Neglect – The intentional or unintentional failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation.  This may include withholding food, under or over-medicating, failure to provide clean clothing or diapers, failure to provide safety features, and failure to help or supervision when needed.

Financial abuse – The unauthorized use of an elder’s funds or property, including stealing cash or household goods, forging signatures, or identity theft.

Recognizing Elder Abuse

Unfortunately, many elder abuse cases go undetected as they can appear to be symptoms of dementia or, simply, frailty.  Some common warning signs of abuse include the tension between the caregiver and the resident, a change in personality or behavior including withdrawal or depression, physical symptoms such as unexplained injuries or signs of restraint (such as marks on wrists), sudden weight loss, or unsanitary living conditions and unusual financial withdrawals.

Preventing Elder Abuse

Calling and visiting elderly relatives as often as you can help you notice signs of abuse.  If you cannot frequently see, have a trusted friend or relative visit the home and report any abuse signs.  Watch for warning signs that may indicate elder abuse.  If you suspect abuse, report it to the nursing home or long-term care facility and Long-Term Care Ministry at 1-866-434-0144.  Elder abuse is a criminal offense under the Criminal Code and should also be reported to local police.

Elder Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes and Long-term Care Facilities

Bogoroch & Associates LLP has extensive experience representing families whose loved ones have been injured or who have died while in the care of a nursing or retirement home. Should you wish to learn more, please contact us. Consultations are free.


  • “About Elder Abuse – Frequently Asked Questions.” The Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. N.p., n.p.
  • “Elder Abuse and Neglect: Warning Signs, Risk Factors, Prevention, Help.” Help Guide. N.p., n.d.
  • Welsh, Moira. “Nursing Home Neglect.” Thestar.com. N.p., 17 Nov. 2011.