How Nursing Homes Might Try to Cover Up Abuse

Monday, December 13, 2021

How Nursing Homes Might Try to Cover Up Abuse

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

Nursing home abuse is thought to be grossly underreported in the United States – partly because many nursing homes work to cover up abuse. The law requires facilities to report such conduct and injuries, but the facilities want to avoid any liability, penalties, or reputational damage. They might work hard to conceal the cause of resident injuries from abuse from family members and other loved ones. 


If you have suspicions about your loved one’s injuries in a nursing home, you should not simply look the other way or accept a false explanation. Instead, seek help from a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer from Malman Law as soon as possible.

Common Tactics

There are many ways that staff members at facilities work to hide incidents of nursing home abuse. Sometimes, it might be the individual abuser concealing the matter, but in other situations, facility owners or management might be a part of the cover-up to protect the facility. Some tactics used might include:


  1. Threatening the resident with additional harm if they report what happened
  2. Confusing a resident to make them believe they imagined the abuse
  3. Refusing to allow family members to meet with a resident alone
  4. Giving other explanations for injuries – or failing to properly explain multiple injuries at all
  5. No keeping records of medical care for abuse-related injuries
  6. Altering logbooks or other records to hide neglect


Anyone who abuses a nursing home resident should face disciplinary measures – often termination – right away. However, nursing homes are often understaffed, so facilities do not immediately fire someone who engaged in abusive conduct. They might then go to elaborate lengths to keep the injured resident from exposing the abuse to family or other loved ones.

The Costs of Nursing Home Abuse

It is important to identify and stop nursing home abuse because of the many effects it can have on a victim’s life. Some of these costly effects include:


  1. The cost of medical treatment that would otherwise not have been necessary
  2. Physical pain and suffering
  3. Mental trauma
  4. Shortened lifespan due to injuries or other effects


When a resident pays for care at a nursing home, they should be able to expect to be protected from injuries –  not suffer preventable injuries from abuse. Unfortunately, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and even financial abuse all happen with regularity in Chicago nursing homes and long-term care facilities. When this occurs, the injured resident should be able to hold the facility fully accountable for all of their financial and intangible losses.


Because nursing home abuse is often concealed, loved ones should not hesitate to inquire about any concerns they have about their loved one’s physical or mental state. If you suspect abuse and a facility lies to you, consult with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney immediately.

Seek Guidance from a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

At Malman Law, we protect the interests and rights of nursing home residents, and we can assess your loved one’s situation. Contact us to learn more and discuss your concerns today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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