Nursing Home Abuse in Idaho


Laura Schaefer

Thanks to its stunning natural beauty and mountainous terrain, Idaho became a beautiful destination to live in the last decade. Between 2010 and 2021, the Gem State of Idaho saw its population soar 21%. This could be a problem, as facilities struggle to keep up with demand and nursing home abuse in Idaho increases.

According to a recent piece in the Idaho Statesman, nursing homes often miss their mandated inspections. Even when they are inspected, there are serious problems, including:

“call light response times of up to two hours; wrong medications provided to a resident, including lithium and morphine, and a failure to tell guardians about the mistake; and no shower provided to a resident for 20 days.”

-Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

If your loved one suffered abuse or neglect in an Idaho nursing home, it’s time to speak with a nursing home neglect attorney. Your loved one deserves a settlement payment for their suffering. If you live in or near Boise or another part of the Potato State, it is time to take action.

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Nursing Home Resident Rights in Idaho

According To TITLE 39, CHAPTER 33 of the Idaho Residential Care or Assisted Living Act, Idaho nursing home residents have a long list of rights they’re entitled to, including:

  • Privacy: Each resident must be assured the right to privacy. This includes:
    • Living space accommodations
    • Medical treatment
    • Written and telephone communications
    • Visits from friends and family
    • Visits from other residents
  • Humane care and a humane environment: This includes the right to a healthy diet aligning with any religious restrictions along with a safe and sanitary living environment.
  • Management of personal funds.
  • Access and visitation rights.

These rights are state and federally-protected, so any suspicion of violation is treated seriously by the court. According to Idaho Code 18-1505:

“(1) Any person who abuses or neglects a vulnerable adult under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm or death is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than ten (10) years and not more than a twenty-five thousand dollar ($25,000) fine.”

Not only can the court punish abuse with fines and jail time, but legal action may cover the economic and non-economic damages your loved one suffered.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse in Idaho?

Nursing home abuse falls under the following categories, each ranging in severity depending on your case. According to Idaho statutes, nursing home residents have the right to:

freedom from abuse, neglect, and restraints. Each resident shall have the right to be free from physical, mental, or sexual abuse, neglect, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and any physical or chemical restraints.”

42 CFR § 483.12

IMPORTANT: Consult with a nursing home abuse attorney to find out which type of abuse applies to your case. This will let you know what type of damage to sue for against the guilty party.

Physical or Emotional Abuse

When a nursing home resident suffers intentional bodily harm from a caretaker, they are suffering from nursing home physical abuse. Examples of physical abuse include:

  • Skin bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Burns
  • Bone fractures
  • Soft tissue swelling

Not every form of nursing home abuse is as direct as physical abuse. Nursing home emotional abuse is any behavior or talk intended to upset or confuse nursing home residents. Some examples of nursing home emotional abuse include:

  • Verbal harassment
  • Isolation from other residents
  • Psychological manipulation
  • Repeated threats of harm


Financial exploitation is a subtle but devastating form of nursing home abuse that focuses on stealing or manipulating funds from nursing home residents. Examples of nursing home financial abuse include:

  • Financial transfers
  • Theft
  • Transferring ownership of wills
  • Changing banking information like debit or credit cards
  • Control of a patient’s accounts

Sexual Abuse

This type of abuse refers to subjection to sexual conduct or contact classified as a crime. It may feel unthinkable that your loved one may suffer from sexual abuse, but cases have happened where their medical conditions raise the chances of them to be taken advantage of. 

Examples of sexual abuse include:

  • Unwanted sexual touching or verbiage
  • Taking or distributing sexual photos without consent
  • Manipulation to perform sexual acts
  • Forced nudity
  • Rape

Early Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Idaho

According to, early signs of exploitation included the following:

  1. Lack of affordable amenities and comforts in the resident’s living space.
  2. Your loved one giving uncharacteristically excessive gifts or direct financial reimbursement to caregivers.
  3. The resident has signed property transfers (power of attorney or will, for example) but can’t comprehend what the transaction means.

Signs of physical or sexual abuse include:

  1. Inadequately explained fractures, bruises, welts, cuts, sores, or burns
  2. Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases

Indicators of emotional abuse include:

  1. Uncharacteristic changes in behavior such as withdrawal from normal activities
  2. Unexplained changes in alertness
  3. The resident is isolated
  4. A caregiver is verbally aggressive or demeaning, controlling, or uncaring

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect in Idaho

Nursing home neglect is a separate form of abuse where caregivers are unreasonably negligent in providing basic care for residents. This can take the form of:

  • Lack of basic hygiene or appropriate clothing
  • Untreated bed sores or other wounds
  • Lack of food
  • Lack of medical aids (e.g., glasses, walker, dentures, hearing aids, or medications)
  • The resident’s living space is cluttered, dirty, or in disrepair

Unreasonable neglect is just as harmful as direct abuse. Management should have the appropriate staff available to take care of the nursing home residents they take into their facilities. If they don’t, they should expect legal action for the negligent harm they cause for their residents.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Idaho

Concerned individuals should report abuse or neglect. If you believe your loved one is not being treated properly in an Idaho facility, then you should report it. There is also a phone number local to six different regions in Idaho. Click here to find your region.  

If you believe your loved one is in danger or it is an urgent situation, call 911 immediately

IMPORTANT: Because many nursing home abuse cases can result in personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits, contact an attorney at this time as well. 

Title 74, Chapter 1 of the Idaho Statutes requires reports to the Department of Health and Welfare about nursing home abuse to remain confidential.

Types of Damages for Nursing Home Abuse in Idaho

There are three types of damages you can file for in a nursing home abuse claim: 

  • Economic damages
  • Non-economic damages
  • Punitive damages

Economic and non-economic damages are filed under compensatory damages, compensation for harm, injury, or expenses incurred by the liable defendant(s).

Economic damages are the measurable expenses suffered due to abuse or neglect. These expenses may include:

  • Medical care
  • Relocation costs
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health treatment
  • Loss of property

Economic damages can also include burial costs.

Non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 and include the non-measurable expenses from abuse.

Examples of non-economic damages include:

  • Physical and mental pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Physical impairment
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Disfigurement

Each state has individual laws about the maximum amount that can be awarded in any lawsuit. In Idaho, victims in personal injury cases can recover punitive damages if the defendant acted with malice, fraud, oppression, or outrageous conduct. However, the state places a cap on punitive damages of $250,000.

Common Causes of Nursing Home Abuse in Idaho 

Nursing home abuse is sadly common due to ongoing staffing issues in the nursing home industry. Abuse and neglect can be caused by a facility’s administration failing to train or supervise staff. Underpaying and overscheduling staff members can also lead to neglect.

Idaho Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitation for nursing home abuse cases in Idaho is two years. In wrongful death cases, it is two years from the date of death.

Find an Idaho Nursing Home Lawyer with LegalASAP

Nursing home abuse attorneys typically work under contingency fees. This means your family won’t have to pay the attorney until your loved one’s settlement arrives. A lawyer can guide you through the legal process and secure your family a much higher settlement than if you represent yourself.

Not sure how to locate an attorney to represent your Idaho nursing home abuse case?LegalASAP’s attorney network of 500+ law firms can connect you with an experienced legal advocate in your city or county.

Laura Schaefer

Laura Schaefer is the author ofThe Teashop Girls,The Secret Ingredient, andLittler Women: A Modern Retelling. She is also an active co-author or ghostwriter of several nonfiction books on personal and business development. Laura currently lives in Windermere, Florida with her husband and daughter and works with clients all over the world. Visit her online at and