Nursing Home Abuse Can Be Hard to Spot

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Nursing Home Abuse Can Be Hard to Spot

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

Sadly, nursing home abuse occurs every day in the U.S. It is our job to be on the lookout for the warning signs of nursing home abuse. Even when it is hard to spot, we should still be vigilant in our efforts.

The U.S. is home to over 1.7 million licensed nursing home beds spread amongst 15,600 beds as of 2016. Placing a family member in a nursing home can be one of the toughest decisions an adult will ever have to make. With nursing home abuse running rampant, it’s difficult to tell whom you can trust and whom you can’t trust. 

You researched the best nursing homes to decide on one that could provide your family member with the utmost in personalized care. However, you can’t stop being diligent about your loved one’s care once they are situated in the nursing home. You should continue to be on the lookout for signs of nursing home abuse, and if you think something is off, don’t be afraid to speak up.

Potential Signs of Nursing Home Abuse in Your Loved One

Many nursing home residents who are being abused are afraid to speak up. They don’t want to worry their families, and they do not want their abusers to retaliate. Instead, they keep their abuse hidden and do not talk about it. This makes it all the more critical for you to be on the lookout for potential signs of nursing home abuse or neglect in your loved one. These signs can include:

  1. Reluctance to speak in staff members’ presence
  2. Dehydration
  3. Emotionally upset or agitated
  4. Withdrawn and non-communicative
  5. Falls, fractures, or head injuries
  6. Infections
  7. Poor nutrition
  8. Pressure ulcers (bedsores)
  9. Rapid weight loss or weight gain
  10. Unexplained or unexpected death of the resident
  11. Unexplained injuries such as wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts in various stages of healing
  12. Unsanitary and unclean conditions
  13. Instances of wandering or leaving the facility unattended
  14. Sudden or odd changes in behavior (fear of being touched, sucking, biting, rocking)
  15. Desiring to be isolated from others

Since some of these signs and symptoms can be from other conditions or even a normal part of aging, it can be hard to determine if it is nursing home abuse or something else. 

Reporting Abuse and Getting Help

If you observe one or more of these signs of nursing home abuse and can’t really attribute them to anything else, don’t waste time getting the help you need. You will want to follow the nursing home’s protocol for reporting abuse as well as hire an attorney who has experience with nursing home abuse. Your attorney can help you with many of your next steps, including reporting the nursing home abuse to it to the police. 

Abuse or Neglect?

Although neglect is often grouped in with abuse, they are really two different things. Neglect occurs when a person fails to do something or intentionally avoids doing something. For instance, leaving a bedridden patient lay in bed all day without turning or repositioning then. 

Abuse occurs when there is an intentional infliction of injury that causes physical harm, pain, or mental anguish. Abuse can be deprivation of care, a punishment, unreasonable confinement, or intimidation.  

Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect? Seek Justice Now 

Just because nursing home abuse can be hard to spot doesn’t mean that you give up trying. Continually monitor your loved one in the nursing home for signs and symptoms of abuse. Receive your free no-obligation consultation with the skilled personal injury attorneys at Malman Law today. Call (312) 629-0099 or use our online contact form.

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

What’s your case worth? Submit for a free case review


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.

Related Blog Posts

view all news