6 Visible Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

19 Jun, 2017
By: Donald W Fohrman
6 Visible Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Injuries and Bruises

While not always indicative of abuse or neglect, bruising, broken bones and other injuries can potentially be signs of these issues. Anything such as scratches, internal injuries, bed sores, or abrasions that remain unexplained can signal potential abuse at the hands of staff. Certain medications can result in bruising, but if you notice bilateral bruising on the arms or legs that typically occurs when grabbed or shaken, staff might be responsible.

Personality and Behavioral Changes

Over time, emotional and physical abuse and neglect in nursing homes can result in severe damage, including alterations in mood and behavior. Residents may refuse to take their medication, speak with medical professionals, or follow medical advice. They may also give excuses for injuries that don’t make sense.

Financial and Property Changes

In many cases of abuse, financial exploitation is the main motive. If a loved one has made sudden uncharacteristic changes in their deeds, will, or Power of Attorney, this could be a sign of abuse. They may also be missing valuable or sentimental possessions, and in many instances, they may make unusual bank withdrawals or purchases.


Elderly dehydration is often difficult to spot until hospitalization occurs. However, indicators of hydration include signs of altered brain function such as confusion, headaches, and dizziness. They may also have difficulty walking, inability to sweat, constipation, sunken eyes, and other signs.


There are many factors that can result in an altered unhealthy diet that leads to malnutrition, such as depression. Caregivers are responsible for ensuring that all factors contributing to a resident’s diet are sufficiently managed.

Poor Sanitation and Hygiene

Caregivers also need to make sure that residents receive the proper care regarding hygiene and sanitation. This includes residents who use adult diapers or other incontinence devices who require frequent changing and cleaning. Residents should benefit from bathing, clean clothing, and a clean environment.

If you notice any of these signs and suspect a loved one has undergone abuse or neglect, a nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation.

Category: Nursing Home

About The Author

Photo of Donald W Fohrman
After completing law school Donald became an assistant Attorney General for 7 years and was assigned to the Industrial Commission Division. During that time he spent evenings establishing his own firm. Donald became a founding partner of a large workers’ compensation/personal injury firm but decided to leave the firm in 1990 to start a smaller “boutique” firm with the belief that bigger isn’t always better!
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