What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

Allowing a stranger to care for your elderly loved ones is a considerable risk. Where many nursing homes seem welcoming and efficient in caretaking, that might only sometimes be the case. Often, older people are unaware of the abuse directed at them. They might also choose not to share the difficulties with their loved ones. It can be a lot to manage on your own and it’s important to make sure your loved one is safe. It’s important to look out for these symptoms and signs so you know what to do in this high stress situation. The sooner you notice something is off, the quicker your loved one is taken care of.

Abuse and Neglect

Abuse and neglect often go together. Understanding the two will help determine the intensity of the situation. Abuse can classify as any mental, emotional, sexual, or physical pain intentionally inflicted upon another. This may include intentionally injuring them, refusing them to socialize, intimidating them, or depriving them of basic needs as punishment. Neglect is described as a failure to fulfill the responsibility of providing care. This is when a caretaker is not doing their job properly and instead puts your loved one through intense pain by not giving them food on time or forgetting their medication. It’s a dangerous situation for your elderly loved one to experience.

Physical Abuse 

Physical abuse is easy to notice since nursing homes cannot hide it. It may occur in the form of frequent broken bones, bruises on the body, frequent falling, bruises on the cheeks, or welts from being constrained. It can be easy to brush off due to their age but it’s important to notice if these bruises or welts do not go away or get worse. Paying attention to their wrists, arms, and ankles is essential. You may also notice your loved ones losing or having broken possessions. They might be hesitant to socialize and will startle easily.

Emotional Abuse 

Elders are just as vulnerable as little children. Their minds are molded to believe things that may not be true, like being unloved by family members and thinking they are useless or unworthy of living. Sometimes their minds might not be in the right place, leaving them to be easy targets for this type of abuse. It’s subtle, but observe their behavioral changes, fear of being alone, and refusal to take medication. Even repeated actions such as rubbing hands, rocking, or sucking thumbs.

Sexual Abuse 

Unfortunately, sexual abuse of the elderly is quite common and often goes unnoticed. When visiting your loved ones, notice a change in their behavior around certain staff members. Keep in check their frequent demands for new undergarments. It’s important to ask them questions that won’t embarrass them too much but can get to the root of the problem. If there are signs of bleeding, bruises around the genitals, or an unexplained STI, it might be time to question, probe, and act.

Reach Out to Help

It is time to act if you notice any signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect. Keep records of visible abuse and retrieve medical records from the nursing home. Immediately remove your elderly loved one and bring them home. Contact a Dallas nursing home lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP to find out your rights to sue. Present the evidence to build a case and receive justice for your loved ones. Filing a lawsuit will lead to financial compensation that you can use to provide your loved ones with in-home nursing care facilities or move them to a better location.


Always remain on the lookout for any abuse. It often remains unseen and is rarely shared by your elderly loved ones. If you observe any abuse, do not hesitate to call for help and act. By being vigilant and taking initiative, you can protect your elderly loved ones from the horrors of nursing home abuse. Remember, their safety and well-being should always be the top priority, and taking swift action is crucial to ensure they receive the care and respect they deserve. Reach out to a trusted attorney in your area to make sure your family member gets the justice they deserve.

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