Nursing home abuse and neglect are not quite the same thing in most people's minds. Abuse feels like it is aggressive or violent, while neglect is complete insensitivity to another person's needs. In either case, any action that leads to the harm of an elderly person in a nursing home could be called abuse or neglect.
It could be considered abusive to withhold medication or to overmedicate an elder. It could be neglect when a nurse doesn't respond to a call, or it could be abuse when they make the choice not to respond due to their own dislike of a patient. As a family member of someone in a nursing home, the terminology doesn't matter. All that matters to you is that your loved one receives appropriate care and isn't left hurting as a result of other people's actions.
What do you need to know if you want to file a lawsuit against a nursing home?
If you want to file a lawsuit, then you should remember that your loved one is protected under state and federal laws. That being said, you will also need to prove that they were abused or neglected. There are many cases where elderly individuals decline in health and aren't being abused or neglected, so you will need to show why you feel the way you do.
Good documentation of their injuries, as well as witness statements, videos or other supporting documents, will help you with your claim. Our site has more on what you should do if your loved one is hurt in a nursing home.