No one wants to see their loved ones unhappy when they’re in nursing homes. But sadly, residents in homes can be unhappy for multiple reasons. If your loved one is in that situation, here are some of the things you can do to solve the problem.

What if They Refuse to Even Try a Nursing Home?

Before looking at what to do when your loved one is unhappy in a nursing home, it’s worth noting that the person may refuse to even try a nursing home in the first place. 

The decision for families and their loved ones regarding going to a care home is seldom easy and it’s sure to touch upon complex and delicate matters, including medical concerns, financial resources, and the personal preferences of the loved one entering the home. 

So, things should first be talked through openly to help the person understand why the decision is the right one. 

Check out this helpful post to learn more about why loved ones sometimes refuse to enter nursing homes and what to do if the person doesn’t want to go.

If Your Loved One Is Unhappy in a Nursing Home, Find Out Why

Once your loved one is living in a nursing home, he or she could become unhappy in the new surroundings. If that happens, the first thing you should do is find out the reasons why. You can then take steps to solve the problems. 

It’s much better to do that first instead of simply moving your loved one to another home, as the same problems could persist. 

Here are some of the most common reasons why residents are unhappy in nursing homes and what you can do to solve the problems.

Poor Care

Just because a nursing home looks wonderful in the brochure and on the tour, it doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t have underlying problems. 

If your loved one is receiving poor care, such as patient neglect, and that is what’s making him or her unhappy, it’s a major issue. Talk to the administrator or director of the home about your concerns. 

You may find the problem is down to a single member of staff and the situation can be remedied by removing that person, for instance. But if actions are not taken to solve poor care, you’ll want to consider moving your loved one to another home.

Problems with Other Residents

If your loved one is unhappy due to problems with other residents, such as being left out of activities, you need to let the nursing home administrator or director know. Your loved one could even sadly be bullied by other residents. After all, it’s not only children who are bullied. 

To help solve the issue, staff could encourage other residents to provide friendship and advocacy.


Even though nursing homes should be sociable environments, residents commonly feel lonely. That’s understandable. They could be missing their friends and grandchildren, for instance. 

To solve this problem, encourage your loved one to connect more with people in the home and engage in more activities. Also, make sure you visit as often as possible.

What to Do If Your Loved One Is Still Unhappy

If common problems like those outlined above can’t be remedied and your loved one still feels unhappy, you’ll want to consider moving your loved one to another nursing home. 

Of course, you also have the option to move your loved one back home and look after him or her yourself. But you’re sure to have carefully thought that through before your loved one entered the home in the first place, so that option probably isn’t viable. 

In addition to finding another nursing home, consider other alternatives like independent senior homes, a retirement community, and outsourced nursing care.



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