Knowing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Do you believe that someone you love is suffering from abuse while at a nursing home or elder care facility? If you believe they are the victim of nursing home neglect we understand your situation is scary, overwhelming, and that you are looking for someone to turn to that can make it stop right now.

10 Signs of Elder Abuse to Watch For

Do you know what nursing home abuse looks like? We think we have an idea, but here is a list of things to keep an eye out for. Remember that it’s very important to honor your intuition! If you THINK something is “off”, then it probably is. Sometimes our elderly loved ones are unable to express their situations; it’s up to you to protect them and look out for their best interests.


10. They have broken bones, cuts or scrapes on their body.
This seems obvious. If your loved one has a cut or scrape on them, there’s a good chance they fell or had an accident; take the time to talk to them and inquire with the staff as to what happened. If they routinely have cuts or scrapes… something more serious may be going on.


9. They are bruised.
Do they have bruises around their wrists, on their arms, or neck? These are all places someone might grab onto to forcefully move your loved on. What about their face? Legs?


8. They have bedsores.
Bedsores are skin and tissue injuries that occur when there is prolonged pressure on the skin. When someone has been sitting or lying for too long a time, they can develop bedsores. This could be because they are not getting care, or getting any activity, or that their care is being neglected.


7. Sudden dramatic weight loss.
Does your loved one appear to have lost weight? Maybe they aren’t eating. Their food may be withheld, or they may be experiencing a loss of appetite due to trauma. Malnutrition and dehydration can be a result of intentional neglect, or simply that a facility may be understaffed and unable to offer adequate care to residents. Also, sometimes difficulty swallowing can attribute to this as well.


6. They are more thirsty or hungry.
Do they have insatiable hunger or thirst when you see them? There’s a chance food or water is being withheld from them! It might also simply be a result of the care facility not having enough manpower to offer proper care to all residents.


5. They have less mobility.
Are they not moving as much? There could be a reason why. They may be experiencing pain they are unwilling to talk about or a situational fear they are unable to express.


4. They are talking or socializing less, or want to be left alone.
A change in socialization behavior could be a sign that the are experiencing emotional or physical abuse. They may grow distant from others, and even suffer depression or feel alienated.


3. They are dirty.
It’s never easy to talk about issues of personal care and hygiene – like using the bathroom facilities and personal grooming — but it’s important to remove the shame. Many elderly residents will need help to take a bath, shave, brush their teeth, etc. When someone is experiencing neglect, they may be unable to do things. Does your loved one have a stronger body odor? Do they appear to be dirty? Is their hair clean? Basic hygiene is a real indicator of they kind of care someone receives.


2. They appear heavily sedated.
If your loved one appears to be heavily medicated, it may indicate they that they are being intentionally overly-medicated by staff. Or, that a lapse in proper care is causing them to be over-medicated.


1. They are just acting or looking “different” than they usually do.
You know when something is wrong. You don’t need to be told that your parent or loved one is acting differently. Even if you can’t put your finger on it —- if someone you know and love is, all of a sudden, different then they have always been, it may be time to contact an abuse and neglect law firm to see what your options are.


When Should I Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?

If you are wondering how to report abuse or when the right time to contact an attorney is, the answer is simple; you ask for help the moment you believe there is a REASON to get help. An experienced lawyer can help you investigate your parent’s well-being, and can work with you to explore your options, both immediate and long-term.