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5 Of The Most Common Problems & Complaints In Nursing Homes

5 of the Most Common Problems & Complaints in Nursing Homes

When seniors reach the stage in life where they need a little extra support, a popular option for families is to relocate their loved one to a nursing home. While nursing homes offer many benefits like socialization and around-the-clock care, they are not perfect, and they are not a good fit for all seniors.

These five common problems in nursing homes should be considered before choosing a nursing home for you or your loved one.

  1. Staffing Issues
  2. Other Residents
  3. Isolation
  4. Food
  5. Trouble Sleeping

Staffing Issues

While most staff in nursing homes are dedicated caregivers who are knowledgeable and compassionate, this is not always the case. Complaints about staff are one of the most common problems in nursing homes. 

Sometimes, staff become overwhelmed and can begin to cut corners or even neglect residents. Other times, staff may not be as responsive to resident requests as they should be. There can also simply be differences in opinion or personality that cause friction between staff and residents. 

Some nursing homes are responsive to complaints about staff and can make a switch to the schedule, but others do not have that flexibility. The relationship with a caregiver is vital for seniors, and in-home care often provides more options and flexibility when it comes to caregivers.

Other Residents

Complaints about other residents are another one of the most common problems in nursing homes. Other residents can be noisy and bothersome, and living with other residents may not offer enough privacy. Seniors may be placed next to a neighbor that they don’t get along with or one that makes them feel uncomfortable. 

They may also feel as though other residents are unnecessarily taking caregiver resources away from other residents. If you or your loved one is worried about living among other residents, in-home care can provide a more private and comfortable solution.


While nursing homes are often advertised as a social environment for seniors, that’s not how every senior experiences their time in a senior community. Unfortunately, feelings of isolation are one of the most common problems in nursing homes. 

Seniors don’t always get out to meet other residents or partake in social activities, and visits from family members can be restricted to certain hours. There can be big gaps between when caregivers visit, leaving seniors alone for extended periods of time. 

If a senior wants to stay at home during retirement, help from an in-home care provider can be a good option. In-home care providers don’t just provide daily care services, but they also provide companionship so that seniors don’t feel alone.


Nursing homes often provide scheduled meals or even 24/7 dining services for residents. While this is a convenient feature, issues with food quality are one of the most common problems in nursing homes. Sometimes the food may not be delivered in a timely manner, or it may not meet a senior’s specific dietary restrictions. 

Additionally, some seniors simply have specific food preferences that nursing homes cannot accommodate. 

For seniors who have specific dietary restrictions or preferences, in-home care may be a better option. With in-home care, seniors have total control over when they eat and what they eat, and an in-home caregiver can assist with meal preparation and grocery shopping.

Trouble Sleeping

Getting quality sleep is important at any stage in life, but it is particularly important for seniors. Trouble sleeping when they transition into a nursing home is one of the most common problems in nursing homes for seniors to report.

There are several explanations for this, such as having trouble adjusting to their new environment, or it could be more noisy than they are accustomed to. Trouble sleeping has been linked to a number of medical conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Depression
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

In-home care allows seniors to remain in their own homes and sleep in the comfort of their own beds.

In-Home Care Can Provide an Alternative Solution

While nursing homes have their advantages, they are not without problems, and they are not an appropriate solution for every senior. In-home care allows seniors to receive the help they need while remaining in the comfort of their own home. 

In-home care gives seniors more independence and flexibility, and it does not require a massive transition to a new environment. If you or a loved one needs additional help with day-to-day activities, in-home care is a good option to explore.

If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation.  Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater San Diego, Family Matter In-Home Care has offices throughout California including: Campbell, CARoseville, CASan Marcos, CA, and San Mateo, CA.Share This

Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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