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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

What Are The Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse?

Updated: Jun 12

What Are The Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse?

Caring for elderly loved ones often involves entrusting their well-being to nursing homes. While many facilities provide excellent care, some may fall short, leading to instances of abuse or neglect. Recognizing the signs and knowing how to respond can help protect your loved ones and ensure they receive the care they deserve.

Old man

Understanding Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, as well as neglect. Each type of abuse has specific signs that family members and friends should be aware of to protect their loved ones effectively.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves causing bodily harm through actions like hitting, slapping, or using excessive restraint. Signs to look for include:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts, or scars

  • Broken bones or sprains

  • Marks from restraints

  • Sudden changes in behavior, such as withdrawal or aggression

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can be harder to identify but is equally harmful. It includes verbal assaults, threats, harassment, and isolation. Warning signs include:

  • Unusual behavior such as rocking or mumbling

  • Withdrawal from social interactions

  • Fearfulness around certain staff members

  • Depression or anxiety

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse involves any non-consensual sexual contact. Signs to watch for include:

  • Unexplained sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

  • Bruising or bleeding in genital areas

  • Torn or stained undergarments

  • Difficulty sitting or walking

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when someone illegally or improperly uses a resident's money or assets. Indicators include:

  • Unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts

  • Missing personal belongings

  • Sudden changes in financial documents or wills

  • Unpaid bills despite having sufficient funds


Neglect is the failure to provide necessary care, leading to harm or distress. Signs of neglect include:

  • Poor hygiene and unwashed clothing

  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers

  • Weight loss or dehydration

  • Unsanitary living conditions

Responding to Suspected Abuse

If you suspect that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home, it is crucial to take immediate action. Gather as much evidence as possible. This includes photographs of injuries or poor living conditions, records of medical visits, and any changes in your loved one’s behavior. Keep detailed notes of conversations with nursing home staff and any other relevant details.

Report your concerns to the nursing home administration. Most facilities have procedures in place for handling allegations of abuse. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, escalate the issue to state regulatory agencies, such as the Department of Health or the local ombudsman program.

Ensure that your loved one receives any necessary medical care. A healthcare professional can document injuries and provide essential treatment.

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today

Legal action may be necessary to protect your loved one and hold the responsible parties accountable. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney can guide you through the process, from filing complaints to pursuing compensation for damages.

If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact the experienced attorneys at Leitner Varughese. Our team is dedicated to advocating for the rights of nursing home residents and ensuring they receive the care and respect they deserve. Call us today at 855-585-2969 or complete our contact form for a free consultation and take the first step towards justice and protection for your loved one.

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