The health watchdog received more than 700 complaints about the care of elderly people in nursing homes last year.
They include allegations of financial, verbal and physical abuse, along with residents absconding from centres.
These documents have been released by the Health Information and Quality Authority, under the Freedom of Information Act.
In one complaint, it's claimed staff were physically rough with residents while trying to change their clothing, and verbally abused them.
It's also claimed a resident was left for three days before being diagnosed with a broken bone.
A serious assault was also reported, along with verbal abuse by a director of nursing.
There's also claims residents with dementia absconded from their nursing homes.
Several allegations of short-staffing are made - leading to patients having bad falls and getting injured.
Poor hygiene is noted in several complaints, with strong smells of urine and filthy bed-clothes.
Mervyn Taylor, executive director of Sage Advocacy, says many nursing homes have problems dealing with incontinent residents.
He said: "The age profile of people in nursing homes has obviously increased in the last few years.
"You are dealing with highly vulnerable, and in many cases, very frail people, so in a way it wouldn't be surprising that the issue of incontinence arises.
"It's how that is actually dealt with that's the issue, and shortage of staff is reported quite a lot."
HIQA says these complaints are unsubstantiated, but are all reviewed by an inspector.
The HSE says it takes very seriously all concerns raised in relation to abuse and these allegations are investigated.
Reporting by Eoghan Murphy