Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Our Kentucky nursing home abuse lawyers hold nursing home facilities accountable

As of 2023, the U.S. Government reports that out of the 275 nursing homes in Kentucky, 133 received a below-average rating based on health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. That is 48% of all Kentucky nursing homes.

Trusting a nursing home to take care of your elderly relative can be a difficult decision to make, and a nursing home is obligated under the law to provide the best care possible for your loved one. Sometimes, however, nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect can happen and often lead to devastating injuries or even death.

If your loved one has suffered a traumatic experience at the hands of nursing home staff, or if you suspect nursing home abuse, a Lexington personal injury lawyer from Hughes & Coleman can help you and your family through this time to ensure that the nursing home or assisted living facility is held responsible for their negligence or abuse.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, call our legal team today for a free consultation.


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Nursing home abuse and neglect statistics

If you suspect that your loved one has been abused or neglected in a Lexington nursing home, statistics show that you are not alone.


  • According to the World Health Organization, approximately 1 out of 6 people who are 60 years or older experienced some form of abuse in community-based services
  • 2 in 3 staff surveyed by the WHO reported that they had committed abuse in the past year
  • 85 percent of nursing facilities reported at least one allegation of abuse or neglect to OIG in 2012
  • A recent study by the National Council on Aging found that up to five million older Americans are abused every year, and the annual loss by victims of financial abuse is estimated to be at least $36.5 billion.
  • Elders who have been abused have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who have not been mistreated
  • It is estimated that only 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse are reported to authorities

Nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys help protect Lexington nursing home residents

In 1987, the Nursing Home Reform Law was established to protect nursing home residents from elder abuse and neglect. Residents’ Rights’ are also incorporated into Kentucky State Statutes.

Under both federal laws and Kentucky state laws, a nursing home facility has strict guidelines that they must follow “to provide services and activities to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident.”  This means that your loved one, or any long-term care facility resident, should not decline in health due to how the nursing home provides care.

When nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect happens in any form or when resident rights have been violated, victims may be able to pursue compensation for damages that were caused by the nursing facility.

A Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer can help provide legal assistance to victims and their family members to obtain maximum compensation from negligent facilities while helping to stop nursing home abuse from continuing while your claim is being pursued.

Damages a nursing home abuse lawyer can help you recover

If you believe your loved one was a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you can recover compensation for the damages they suffered. This might include:

  • Medical bills and other medical expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • Attorneys’ fees
  • Refunding of the money you or your loved one spent on their nursing home

Types of abuse in nursing homes that a nursing home abuse attorney can help with

Nursing home abuse is any intentional act that causes harm or serious risk to an elderly adult. Common forms of elder abuse can include physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, financial abuse, and, although rare, sexual abuse can also occur. It’s important to understand the different types of nursing home abuse and neglect and how to identify signs of abuse so that you can help protect your loved one who may be vulnerable to negligent nursing homes and their staff.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse in nursing homes involves any deliberate use of physical force that causes physical harm or injury to a resident. This form of abuse can include:

Hitting, Slapping, or Pushing: Caregivers or staff members might physically strike residents, causing bruises, cuts, or other injuries. Pushing or shoving residents can also lead to falls or trauma.

Improper Use of Restraints: Sometimes, physical restraints like straps or belts are improperly used to restrict a resident’s movement, causing physical discomfort, injury, or emotional distress.

Rough Handling: Mishandling residents during routine care activities such as bathing, dressing, or moving them from one place to another can cause physical harm. Improper lifting techniques can lead to muscle strains, fractures, or other injuries.

Force-Feeding or Medication Misuse: Forcing residents to eat or take medication against their will or administering incorrect dosages can result in physical discomfort, illness, or injury.

Inadequate Care: Failing to provide necessary medical attention, including ignoring health concerns, wounds, or infections, can exacerbate health issues and cause unnecessary physical harm.

What to look for to identify signs of physical abuse


Physical abuse in Lexington, KY Nursing Home

  • Physical injuries, such as broken bones, lacerations, and bruises, especially if they appear with no explainable cause
  • Bruises on the inner arms or thighs, which can be a sign of excessive physical restraint
  • Unexplained physical illness
  • Pain when touched
  • Loss of control over bodily functions
  • Unexplained changes in medication
  • Fear or nervousness

Emotional Abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse in nursing homes involves behaviors that inflict mental anguish, distress, fear, or anguish on residents. This form of abuse can be subtle and may not leave physical marks, but its impact can be severe and long-lasting. Some examples include:

Verbal Abuse: This includes yelling, insulting, humiliating, or using derogatory language toward residents. Caregivers might use threats or make demeaning comments that undermine a resident’s self-worth.

Intimidation or Threats: Staff or caregivers might intimidate residents through threatening gestures, menacing behavior, or verbal threats. This can create an environment of fear and emotional distress.

Isolation or Ignoring: Purposefully isolating a resident by withholding social interaction, communication, or intentionally ignoring their needs can lead to feelings of loneliness, helplessness, and depression.

Manipulation or Gaslighting: Caregivers might manipulate residents by distorting the truth, denying events, or making a resident doubt their memory or perception of reality, causing confusion and distress.

Humiliation and Belittlement: Ridiculing, mocking, or belittling a resident’s abilities, appearance, or cognitive functions can significantly impact their self-esteem and mental well-being.

Emotional Neglect: Ignoring a resident’s emotional needs, dismissing their concerns, or failing to offer emotional support can lead to feelings of abandonment and loneliness.

What to look for to identify signs of emotional abuse

  • Isolation
  • Sudden and unexplained personality changes (e.g., depression, anxiety, withdrawal)
  • Fear of speaking for oneself
  • Instances of scolding or threatening behavior
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Fear or apprehension around a specific caregiver

Emotional abuse in a Lexington, KY nursing home


Neglect in nursing homes refers to the failure of caregivers or staff to meet the basic needs of residents, resulting in harm, discomfort, or endangerment. Neglect victims may suffer from:

Basic Needs Neglect: This involves failing to provide essential necessities such as food, water, and a safe living environment. It could mean inadequate nutrition, dehydration, or lack of appropriate clothing and hygiene.

Medical Neglect: Failing to attend to a resident’s medical needs, including administering medications as prescribed, providing necessary medical care, or ignoring symptoms that require attention.

Personal Hygiene Neglect: Neglecting a resident’s personal hygiene needs, such as bathing, grooming, changing clothes, or maintaining cleanliness, leads to discomfort, infections, or skin issues, including bedsores.

Emotional Neglect: Ignoring a resident’s emotional well-being, failing to address their emotional needs, or not providing adequate social interaction and engagement, leading to loneliness and emotional distress.

Neglect of Safety: Failing to ensure the safety of residents by not maintaining a clean and hazard-free environment, neglecting repairs or maintenance that could lead to accidents, or ignoring necessary safety measures.

What to look for to identify signs of nursing home neglect

Neglected in a Lexington, KY Nursing Home

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Poor hygiene or lack of basic hygiene
  • Unclean, unkempt appearance
  • Body odor
  • Torn or dirty clothing
  • Missing dentures, eyewear, or hearing aids
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bedsores
  • Falls due to improper care or monitoring
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Lack of food, or spoiled and moldy food

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse in nursing homes involves the unauthorized or improper use of a resident’s funds, assets, or property. This type of abuse can occur in various ways:

Theft or Misappropriation: Caregivers or staff might steal residents’ money, valuables, or personal belongings. This could involve taking cash, using credit or debit cards without permission, or stealing valuable items.

Coercion or Fraud: Staff members might coerce or manipulate residents into giving them money or signing financial documents, such as wills, contracts, or powers of attorney, under duress or without proper understanding.

Forgery or Unauthorized Transactions: This involves forging a resident’s signature on checks, bank account information, legal documents, or financial agreements to access their funds or assets without consent.

Billing Schemes or Overcharging: Nursing homes may engage in overcharging for services or billing for services that were not provided, exploiting the resident’s financial resources.

Financial Exploitation through Scams: Residents might be targeted by scams or fraudulent schemes, both online and offline, exploiting their vulnerabilities and deceiving them into giving away their money or sensitive financial information.

What to look for to identify signs of elderly financial abuse

  • Unexplained withdrawals from your loved one’s bank account
  • ATM fees when the resident does not use ATMs or there is not one within walking distance
  • Changes to a will
  • Unpaid bills
  • Missing personal belongings

Lexington nursing home financial abuse documentation

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse in nursing homes involves any form of non-consensual sexual contact or behavior directed toward a resident. This is a deeply distressing and violating form of abuse that can include:

Unwanted Touching or Fondling: Inappropriate touching of a resident’s body, breasts, genitals, or any other intimate area without their consent constitutes sexual abuse.

Forced Sexual Activity: Coercing or forcing a resident into any form of sexual activity, including intercourse, oral sex, or other sexual acts, against their will.

Sexual Harassment: Making unwelcome sexual advances, suggestive comments, or sexually explicit remarks or gestures toward a resident, creating a hostile or uncomfortable environment.

Exposing Residents to Pornography: Showing explicit material or pornography to residents without their consent can be emotionally distressing and constitute sexual abuse.

Exploitation of Vulnerability: Taking advantage of a resident’s cognitive or physical impairments to engage in sexual activity without their understanding or consent.

What to look for to identify signs of sexual abuse

  • Injuries to the genital region, breasts, mouth, or anus
  • Presence of an unexplained sexually transmitted disease
  • Aversion to being bathed or changed
  • Elevated fear when a particular caregiver is present
  • Loss of bowel and bladder control

Steps to report nursing home abuse in Kentucky

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should say something, even if you have no proof or are not yet certain your suspicions are valid. Nursing home residents can often be in cases of immediate danger, and unless suspicions are reported, abuse and neglect can continue. When you report abuse or neglect to the following agencies, they are required by law to investigate.

Adult Protective Services

If you suspect abuse, neglect, or exploitation, whether involving known loved ones or unfamiliar nursing home residents, report these incidents to Adult Protective Services (APS). This agency is responsible for investigating complaints related to abuse, neglect, and exploitation. If you suspect any such mistreatment, document the incident and alert the authorities.

Reports can be filed in writing or verbally, and there’s even an option for anonymous reporting to:

Adult Protective Services

275 E. Main Street Frankfort, KY 40621


Office of the Inspector General

Complaints against the nursing home should also be made to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) which is responsible for licensing nursing homes.

Office of the Inspector General


Office of the Attorney General

Additionally, reports of abuse in a nursing home facility may be made to the Office of the Attorney General’s Abuse Tip Line.

Office of the Attorney General



When you make a report, include the victim’s name, facility and location, witness names, incident date and time, and any specifics you have. You can also reference the Kentucky Attorney General’s sample report for guidance. Keep in mind reports can be written, spoken, or even submitted anonymously.

Contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer

A Lexington nursing home abuse attorney can help you understand your rights and hold the nursing home or long-term care facility accountable for their negligent actions. A nursing home abuse case should be handled by a law firm with the resources and skills required to navigate the complexities of the nursing home records system and other legal actions that may be necessary to properly represent your loved one.

Follow up on what actions have been taken

Stay in touch with the investigating agency—whether it’s Adult Protective Services, the Office of the Inspector General, local law enforcement, or another relevant authority—to track the progress of your complaint. Note that some agencies might not disclose specific details due to procedural rules. Still, it’s helpful to record these interactions: date, time, the person you spoke with, and the information received. Additionally, follow up with the resident and/or the facility to confirm if the issue has been addressed and resolved.

A Lexington nursing home abuse attorney can also follow up with these agencies on your behalf.

What an experienced Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer can do for you

Our lawyers have handled hundreds and hundreds of nursing home abuse and neglect cases. When you contact us, we begin immediately by putting that experience to work for you. We will handle every aspect of your case so that you can be confident that your loved one is safe and that they will recover the compensation they are entitled to.


  • Ensure your loved one’s protection
  • Gather all necessary evidence to identify all state and federal laws that have been violated
  • Interviewing nursing home workers or past workers to uncover important information that could potentially reveal other abuse or neglect activity
  • Build a robust case against the nursing home
  • Negotiate with the nursing home or its insurance company to recover the compensation your loved one deserves
  • Fight for justice for your loved one in court if the nursing home or insurer refuses to offer a fair settlement



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2022 Best Injury Law Firm Award 2022 Best Injury Law Firm Award

Contact a Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer near you today

Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers serve clients in the Lexington area and want to understand your situation. If you would like to visit us in person, we are conveniently located on New Circle Road, next to the Golden Corral buffet. You can also chat with us now, or fill out a form, and we can contact you.

To speak with our legal team immediately, call us now for a free consultation.


We are available 24/7.

Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers

211 E New Circle Rd, Lexington, KY 40505

(859) 260-1722

Frequently asked questions and resources

What are nursing home abuse reporting requirements?

The Elder Justice Act requires an owner, operator, employee, manager, agent, or contractor of applicable long-term care facilities to report any reasonable suspicion of crimes committed against a resident of that facility to the Secretary and at least one local law enforcement entity.

Serious Bodily Injury – 2-Hour Limit: If there is reasonable suspicion that events resulted in serious bodily injury to a resident, the suspicion must be reported immediately, but not later than 2 hours after forming the suspicion.

All Others – Within 24 Hours: If the events that cause the reasonable suspicion do not result in serious bodily injury to a resident, the suspicion must be reported no later than 24 hours after forming the suspicion.

Reporting abuse is required by all nursing homes and staff. If abuse is not reported, strict fines and penalties may be imposed on the nursing home. A Lexington nursing home abuse lawyer may also pursue additional damages on behalf of the victim.

Other Kentucky nursing home abuse resources

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Adult protective services reporting system

The Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Aging

(800) 677-1116


Choosing the right nursing home

Read about how to choose the best nursing home in Lexington, KY for your loved one and steps you can take to help ensure their safety.

Get In Touch Today!

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We serve clients across Tennessee and Kentucky and we have several offices throughout both states. See all of our locations and contact us today.

Kentucky Locations


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Bowling Green, KY 42104

Phone: (270) 782-6000



2110 N Dixie Hwy #102

Elizabethtown, KY 42701

Phone: (270) 737-0640



5004 Poplar Level Rd

Louisville, KY 40219

Phone: (502) 585-4025



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Louisville, KY 40216

Phone: (502) 585-4693



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Lexington, KY 40505

Phone: (859) 260-1722


Tennessee Locations


446 James Robertson Pkwy #100

Nashville, TN 37219

Phone: (615) 255-9100



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Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Phone: (615) 907-0687



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Clarksville, TN 37040

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Columbia, TN 38401

Phone: (931) 505-7040



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Gallatin, TN 37066

Phone: (615) 451-4288