This article reviews an earlier study written for the Wagner Committee (1988) on scandals in residential care. That review was based on a study of ten enquiry reports, only two of which were about homes for older people. The main events that were described are grouped as: institutionalised practices, indifference and neglect, physical cruelty, humiliation, too authoritarian a life-style, a dull and depressing life-style, an overcrowded and run down environment, disharmony amongst the staff team, and staff misappropriating goods or money. Now, more weight should be given to: residents’ abuse of residents and of staff, an improper influence on the life-style of others, and sexual abuse. Explanations proposed are: structural, environmental, and individual and worker style. Abuse is considered in the context of the nature of direct care and the acts of intimate caring of others.