Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

A nursing home can be an excellent option for loved ones who need specialized care around the clock. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect are common. They are also not always obvious to the victim or their loved one. All forms of nursing home care and abuse are heartbreaking and shocking, and this is why everyone should learn how to identify them.

Physical Elder Abuse

Physical abuse is perhaps the easiest form of abuse to notice due to its physical manifestation. This type of abuse results from intentional and excessive use of force which can include kicking, burning, hitting, slapping, and pushing.

Physical elder abuse is a common cause of distress, pain, injuries, and even fatalities. Some signs to look for include fractures and broken bones, scrapes, bruises and welts, broken possessions, and a loved one being startled easily.

Some staff will try to explain away these signs as accidents, which is why it is so important to keep an eye out for patterns and a combination of signs that indicate different forms of abuse.


Neglect in nursing homes arises when seniors are left unattended and alone for long periods. Being left alone like this puts them in danger. Serious neglect can lead to issues such as ulcers, sepsis, dehydration, and a host of other issues.

The most common sign of elder neglect is bedsores or pressure sores. These are caused by being immobile for too long, dehydration, malnutrition, and other factors. Because it is such a clear sign of abuse and neglect, you should hire a bed sores lawyer because a loved one might be experiencing nursing care abuse.

Other common signs of neglect include malnutrition, dehydration, infections that lead to sepsis, unexplainable STIs, unexplained weight loss, and different types of injuries.

Financial Elder Abuse

Financial elder abuse has become very common as technology has taken over. Many seniors are not very good with modern technology, and this is why they are susceptible to these types of abuse. Nursing home staff should always check to ensure no one is taking advantage of the elders under their care.

Sadly, financial elder abuse happens inside nursing homes, too. This type of abuse is difficult to detect because seniors typically give consent after being manipulated. Some warnings to watch out for include missing belongings and money or agitation, stress, and depression caused by losing a large sum of money.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional elder abuse is especially egregious because it is often intentional and hidden. In the latter case, the abuse can continue for a long time because most of the signs associated with it can be explained as being signs of something else.

It is also so bad because it takes place over a long time such that family members and other staff do not notice before it is too late.

Some signs to watch for include fear of being left alone, behavioral changes, refusing medication or meals, and repetitive actions such as rocking and fidgeting.

Sadly, elder abuse in nursing homes exists, and it happens to people who might not be able to advocate for themselves. Everyone should learn to recognize the different types of abuse so they can intervene when needed.

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