Spotting Nursing Home Abuse

What are the signs of nursing home abuse?

Nursing homes can provide a place of safety and refuge for elderly individuals across America. The number of Americans residing in nursing home care has risen dramatically in recent years, as more Baby Boomers enter their senior years. Sadly, instances of nursing home abuse have increased along with the number of nursing home residents. Anyone with an elderly loved one in nursing home care will want to review the signs of nursing home abuse so that you can proactively protect your loved one.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

There are several types of nursing home abuse, with some forms of abuse being harder to detect. Types of abuse include: physical abuse, neglect, emotional or psychological abuse, and financial abuse. Physical abuse may encompass restraint, assault, and battery. Emotional abuse may include isolating or humiliating a resident. Neglect, which is the most common form of abuse, encompasses the withholding of basic necessities, like food, water, medication, or hygienic care. Finally, financial abuse involves the exploitation of a nursing home resident by a caregiver.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Signs of physical abuse inflicted on a nursing home resident may include:

  • Unexplained bruising
  • Fear of a caregiver or another resident
  • Signs of restraint
  • Frequent injuries

Emotional abuse could present as:

  • Sudden withdrawn behavior
  • Emergence of unusual behaviors like rocking or confusion
  • Threatening or belittling behavior by a nurse or another patient

Neglect can be the hardest form of abuse to detect, as it can take many forms. Be alert for the following:

  • Bed sores
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Poor hygiene
  • Dental decay
  • Soiled bedding or clothing
  • Unsafe living conditions, like no air conditioning or heat
  • Isolation of residents
  • Overmedication

To protect your loved one’s finances, be on the watch for financial exploitation that may manifest as:

  • Missing cash, jewelry, or other items of value
  • Changes in a will, life insurance policy, or power of attorney
  • Unexplained withdrawals of funds
  • Changes to your loved one’s financial situation
  • Sudden unpaid bills or other expenses

If you suspect your loved one may have been abused while in nursing home care, contact a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. Your personal injury attorney will assess the situation to determine whether your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation.

Posted in: Nursing Home Abuse