How to Report a Nursing Home

Nursing homes are meant to provide senior citizens with a safe and caring environment later in life. Unfortunately, some residents suffer abuse in nursing homes, which can result in serious harm and even death. By reporting nursing home abuse, you can protect your loved one and other patients in the facility. Find out how to report a nursing home and secure justice following abuse or neglect.

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Julie Rivers

Fact-Checked and Legally Reviewed by: Julie Rivers

How to Anonymously Report a Nursing Home

Nursing home abuse and neglect happen all too frequently and can endanger the lives of elderly residents who may be frail or have underlying health conditions.

If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of abuse, you can report the incident to your state’s Department of Public Health. States have regulations that protect the identities of those who report nursing home abuse, so you can make an anonymous complaint and get your family member the help they need.

You can also report nursing home abuse by:

  • Calling a nursing home abuse hotline
  • Contacting your local Adult Protective Services (APS)
  • Reaching out to a nursing home ombudsman
  • Working with doctors and other professionals

Call 911 if your loved one is in immediate danger. Emergency personnel can investigate the situation and get them to safety.

Nursing home abuse lawyers also help families report mistreatment to the authorities and pursue justice and compensation for the pain they’ve endured.

Get a free case review now to see if one of our legal partners can help your family get justice.

6 Ways to Report Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

Public health agencies and private organizations have systems in place for how to report a nursing home. They understand that residents in long-term care facilities are vulnerable and have mechanisms in place to deal with nursing home complaints about abuse.

While families often have several options for how to report a nursing home, 6 resources are listed below.

1. State Department of Health

Each state’s Department of Health accepts nursing home complaints about abuse. In most cases, you can report nursing home abuse by calling the agency, filling out an online complaint form, sending an e-mail, or sending a letter by standard mail.

Tip: Your complaint should include the name of the assisted living facility, the specific issue related to your loved one’s care, and other details that can help officials conduct a thorough investigation.

Your identity will not be released to the nursing home or staff members, so you don’t have to worry about anyone retaliating against you or your loved one.

2. Law Enforcement

You can report nursing home abuse to your local police. The police can take immediate action if a family member has been harmed or has passed away from their injuries.

They can also file criminal charges if your loved one has been the victim of a physical attack, sexual assault, or other crimes.

3. Adult Protective Services

APS protects vulnerable adults, including seniors and individuals with disabilities, whose well-being may be affected by neglect, abuse, or exploitation. Depending on your state, you can report nursing home abuse to APS by using an online portal or calling a hotline.

4. A Nursing Home Ombudsman

You can also report nursing home abuse to an ombudsman, who is in charge of advocating for residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Every state has an Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, with local programs that protect the well-being of nursing home residents.

An ombudsman for nursing homes investigates allegations of mistreatment and advocates for residents to ensure they are safe and that their rights have not been violated.

5. Nursing Home Abuse Hotlines

Another option for how to report a nursing home is by calling an elder abuse helpline.

Hotlines for nursing home abuse reporting include:

  • Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116
  • National Center on Elder Abuse at 1-855-500-3537
  • SAMHSA 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline at 988

These toll-free hotlines are staffed by trained professionals who can listen to your nursing home complaints and help you get assistance.

6. Medical Professionals

Doctors and other health care providers can help you figure out whether your loved one’s symptoms are related to nursing home neglect. They can perform an examination and order tests to confirm that a loved one was mistreated and ensure that they get treated for their nursing home abuse injuries.

Health care professionals are mandated reporters. If they suspect that a nursing home resident has been abused, they have a duty to alert the authorities.

Nursing home abuse law firms can also help victims report abuse and neglect and hold negligent facilities accountable for the harm they’ve caused. has partnered with top firms that have secured over $273 million for families across the country. Our legal partners never charge any upfront or hourly fees and can help families in all 50 states.

Call (888) 726-9160 now to see if we can connect you with a top nursing home neglect law firm near you.

Who Do You Report Abuse to in a Nursing Home?

There are several different people you can report suspicions of nursing home abuse to. Each one can document your nursing home complaint, conduct an investigation, and ensure that your loved one is safe.

Medicare suggests that families first talk with the staff providing care to see if they can get to the bottom of what’s going on.

If the issue isn’t resolved, the agency says to speak with:

  • The supervisor
  • The social worker
  • The director of nursing
  • The administrator
  • Your doctor

“The Medicare and/or Medicaid-certified nursing home must have a grievance procedure for complaints. If your problem isn’t resolved, follow the facility’s grievance procedure. You may also want to bring the problem to the resident or family council.”

Nursing homes certified by Medicare or Medicaid are required to post the contact information for state agencies that oversee facility complaints. You can use that information to report a nursing home.

Regardless of who you decide to report the abuse to, consider speaking to a nursing home abuse lawyer. An attorney may be able to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit on your behalf and fight for the compensation and justice you deserve.

Warning Signs for Reports of Abuse in Nursing Homes

By knowing the signs of nursing home abuse, you can take quick action to protect your family member and help put an end to abusive practices at the facility.

Warning signs may vary but can include:

  • Emotional abuse: Anxiety, fear, depression, and changes in sleep patterns and behavior
  • Neglect: Infections, bedsores (especially stage 3 and stage 4 pressure ulcers), and poor hygiene
  • Physical abuse: Bruises, welts, sores, burns, cuts, and broken bones
  • Sexual abuse: Stained bedding or clothing, development of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and bleeding or bruising around the genitals

If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s a good idea to jot down notes and document what you see. Take photos and videos of any injuries or other evidence of abuse.

Track any changes in your loved one’s appearance, mental or emotional health, and behavior. Pay particular attention to any changes in their routine, like a different room or caretaker.

Use the information above on how to report a nursing home to file a complaint against the facility and protect your loved one from further harm.

Get Legal Help for Nursing Home Abuse

Finding out that a loved one has been abused or neglected in a nursing home can be saddening and traumatic.

Our team at is here to support nursing home abuse victims and their families and help them get justice. Many families who have reached out to us for legal help have been able to start the healing process and move forward with their lives knowing that justice has been served.

Our legal partners can help families:

  • Hold negligent facilities accountable
  • Pursue compensation
  • Report nursing home abuse

The attorneys we work with never charge any upfront or out-of-pocket fees and can help families across the country.

Call (888) 726-9160 now or complete our contact form to see if they can help your family during this challenging time.

Report Nursing Home Abuse FAQs

How do I report a nursing home?

Families have several options to report a nursing home for neglect or abuse.

Parties you can report a nursing home to include:

  • A nursing home abuse hotline
  • Adult Protective Services
  • The police in your area

Additionally, a nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you report abuse and take legal action against a negligent care facility.

What is the biggest complaint in nursing homes?

One of the biggest complaints in nursing homes is nursing home neglect and abuse. When nursing facilities are understaffed or caregivers are not properly trained, residents can suffer injuries like dehydration, malnutrition, and infections.

There are different ways for how to report a nursing home to protect your loved one and ensure that a negligent facility is held accountable.

What are best practices for how to report a nursing home to the state?

When you report a nursing home to state authorities, make sure you have all the necessary information to ensure that your complaint is properly addressed.

Information to report nursing home abuse includes:

  • The name of the nursing home and the staff member(s) involved
  • Details about the incident, like when it occurred
  • A brief description of your concern

The investigator may call you for additional information. Be prepared by taking notes that you can share. By doing so, you can help with the complaint investigation and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

What are some ways to report nursing home neglect?

You can reach out to your state’s health department, social services, or the local authorities to report nursing home neglect.

Additionally, a nursing home neglect lawyer may be able to report a facility and help you sue for neglect to pursue compensation for your loved one’s injuries.

What to do if you suspect nursing home neglect?

If you believe that a loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect, consider reporting your suspicions to Adult Protective Services or another agency entrusted with protecting the elderly.

Nursing home abuse reporting can stop mistreatment from occurring and lead to corrective action that can improve the quality of care for all residents and even affect a facility’s licensure.

You can also reach out to 24/7 at (888) 726-9160. We have a network of nursing home neglect attorneys who have helped hundreds of families get justice for a loved one’s mistreatment at a health care facility.

Julie Rivers

Fact-Checked and Legally Reviewed by: Julie RiversEldercare Advocate

  • Editor

Julie Rivers is a dedicated eldercare advocate with over 15 years of experience in nursing home neglect and abuse cases. Inspired by her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s, she blends legal expertise and personal passion to support victims. An MBA graduate and active Alzheimer’s Association volunteer, Julie fights for better eldercare policies and justice for affected families. Icon

Written by: makes it easier to take legal action. We have information, lawsuit guides, and breaking news about drugs, products, and other issues that could affect you.

  1. “Reporting & resolving nursing home problems.” Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
  2. National Center on Elder Abuse. “Suspect Abuse?” Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “How do I report elder abuse or abuse of an older person or senior?” Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
  4. Sokolove Law. (2024, May 10). “Report Nursing Home Abuse.” Retrieved May 21, 2024, from
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