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How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect


As parents protect their children, eventually one day the children may need to protect their parents as they grow into their elderly years, especially when one or more of our loved ones are being cared for in a long term care home facility.

One of the biggest fears when checking a loved one into a care facility is the danger of suffering nursing home abuse and neglect by the staff or residents of the facility. If you suspect nursing home neglect, it is important to remember some residents are unwilling to communicate instances of nursing home negligence or elder abuse for fear of retribution or further neglect. Furthermore, in some cases the victim is unable to to ask for help because of mental or physical health conditions. In other words, just by talking to the residents of the nursing homes does not necessarily mean you will get an honest answer on the wellness of the facility.

If you witness or are alerted to the following elder abuse and neglect warning signs, immediate action must be taken to safeguard you, your loved one or even other residents in the facility from further abuse. If you do discover signs of abuse, nursing home attorneys are available to help assist you with the next steps you should take, if necessary. Although federal nursing home neglect laws do a great job of protecting victims, they can't do anything if instances of abuse aren't brought to light. Please consult your local directories to find a suitable nursing home neglect lawyer.

If you witness or are alerted to the following elder abuse and neglect warning signs, immediate action must be taken to safeguard you, your loved one or even other residents in the facility from further abuse. If you do discover signs of abuse, nursing home attorneys are available to help assist you with the next steps you should take, if necessary. Although federal nursing home neglect laws do a great job of protecting victims, they can't do anything if instances of abuse aren't brought to light. Please consult your local directories to find a suitable nursing home neglect lawyer.

There are several warning signs to help you detect elder abuse and neglect in nursing home care facilities and should the need arise, you may need to consult a legal attorney who can further guide you in nursing home neglect laws in your state should legal action be necessary.

Here is a list of warning signs to ensure your loved one and other elderly patients are not suffering from abuse and neglect in nursing homes:

Signs of nursing home neglect are often commonly seen with the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Bed sores
  • Infections
  • Frozen Joints
  • Refusal to assist in areas of resident personal hygiene
  • Lack of, or deliberate deprivation of needed services for normal living
  • Lack of, or deliberate deprivation of medical necessities
  • Inadequate medical services
  • Lack of adequate food, housing, or clothing
  • Unsanitary and unclean living areas
  • Unsafe or hazardous living conditions and failure to safeguard resident from such areas

Signs of physical elder abuse are often commonly seen in the following symptoms:

  • Battery or assault, both physical and sexual in nature
  • Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases or genital bleeding
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underwear
  • Lacerations or open wounds
  • Bruises
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Reports of mistreatment or physical abuse from resident
  • Rape
  • Withholding of food or water
  • Excessive or unreasonable restraint
  • Unauthorized use of restraint or drugs
  • Keeping a resident in a room for a prolonged period of time
  • Over medication
  • Under medication
  • Staff member cannot explain status or medical condition of resident

Verbal or Emotional Abuse in Nursing Home:

  • Patient is excessively withdrawn
  • Patient is consistently angry or easily upset
  • Patient refuses to talk or communicate
  • Patient expresses desire to be isolated from other residents or staff
  • Patient displays behavior that is uncharacteristic including degrading, provoking, or violent behavior towards visitors, other residents, or staff
  • Patient ignores family and friends

Other Signs of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes:

  • Loss of resident's property
  • Loss of resident due to wandering and staff neglect
  • Sudden behavior changes
  • Sudden changes in resident's will or other financial documents
  • Sudden large withdrawals from bank
  • Sudden change in banking preferences or procedures
  • Staff refuses visitation with resident
  • Staff delays visitation with resident
  • Staff refuses visitation of resident without staff member present
  • Injuries that require hospital visits or treatment
  • Resident is constantly sick, and is refused treatment
  • Patient is injured by another resident
  • Patient fractures a limb with no explanation from staff
  • Sudden weight loss or gain without contacting family or physician
  • Sudden or unexplained death

In addition, any behavior or occurrences that seem odd or inappropriate should be investigated as soon as possible and to your satisfaction. Don't be afraid to speak out as reporting elder abuse is important and our responsibility to our loved ones.

Nursing home neglect and abuse is a problem plaguing the nursing home industry that both the family and care facilities must continue to combat. With past nursing home public policy under fire and nursing home negligence claims in the papers, most facilities will be quick to address any issues that arise. We can do our part by keeping an eye out for these signs of elder abuse in nursing homes and acting when one is observed so we can ensure that our loved one's stay at a long term care facility home will give them a safe and comfortable lifestyle.

Due to the poor conditions of numerous nursing homes across the country, we have ranked the long term living care facilities across the country to help you make an informed decision when choosing the best care facility as a resident yourself, or when choosing a long term care home for your loved one to avoid nursing home abuse and neglect.

Now you can avoid the pain of nursing home abuse and neglect by learning about the conditions of the nursing homes in your area by searching our database of assisted living facilities today!

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