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7 Signs Your Loved One Could Be Suffering from Nursing Home Abuse


Approximately two million Americans live in long-term care facilities and, unfortunately, abuse and neglect against elderly residents are a common occurrence. According to federal nursing home regulations, residents have the right to be free from every form of abuse.

If you have a loved one currently residing in a nursing home, knowing the signs of abuse and neglect can help to prevent or stop it before great harm is inflicted. While the signs vary on a case-by-case basis, and one indicator alone is not necessarily the result of abuse, a combination of several signs could mean a serious issue.

The following are seven common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect:

  • Unexplained injuries – Whether it’s a bruise or a fracture, any type of injury could be a serious indicator that physical abuse or neglect is taking place. Aside from injuries sustained by violent acts by staff members, another fact is that residents who do not receive the help they need may attempt to do things on their own, which can result in falls or other preventable injuries.
  • Psychological issues – Neglect can cause a variety of emotional issues for elderly residents. They may become afraid of caregivers and reluctant to speak about the problems they experience. Furthermore, they may grow distant from family and friends, ultimately becoming depressed. All of these emotional changes should be a telltale sign of abuse or neglect.
  • Bedsores – Also known as pressure ulcers, bedsores exhibit tissue damage beneath upper-epidermal layers in elderly residents. They tend to manifest on the resident’s hips, lower back, buttocks, or tailbone due to prolonged pressure, which is often indicative of nursing home neglect.
  • Rapid weight loss – Neglect also can result in physical problems such as malnutrition and dehydration. Whether caused by lack of oversight or deliberately, poor nutrition can be caused by either a lack of individualized care and inadequate staffing, or even depression and an improper balance of medication or treatment.
  • Fear of nursing home staff – If you notice that your loved one has stopped looking at or talking to one or more staff members, or even has the look of fear in his/her eyes when a specific person enters the room, these are all signs of abuse.
  • Evasive staff – If you are trying to ask staff members about potential abuse or neglect, but your questions remain unanswered or even deflected, this should be a huge red flag that care may be inadequate.
  • Financial exploitation – Nursing home abuse does not only consist of physical and emotional abuse, but also financial exploitation. Signs of financial abuse include changes in the elderly individual’s financial situation, unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts, changes in life insurance policies or estate documents, missing cash, etc.

Knowing the warning signs and indicators of abuse and neglect can help you protect your loved one. If you suspect that a nursing home is providing inadequate care, our Charleston personal injury attorney at Pierce |Sloan can help protect your loved one’s rights and best interests.

For more information, contact us today.

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