7 Signs of Nursing Home Abuse


It is a fact of life that many people eventually end up in nursing homes when they are elderly. Even though these places are supposed to be safe havens for our elders, abuse does go on. Abuse takes various forms—sexual, physical, neglectful, financial and emotional. Here are some signs that elder abuse is going on in a nursing home:

Physical Injuries

If your elder has unexplained injuries, then it is time to call into question whether he/she is being abused. If your elder has broken bones, pressure sores, cuts and bruises, something is fishy. Assault and neglect cause elders to sustain injuries in nursing homes. Neglect is when they are not properly being watched over and tended to. Assault refers to when they are being physically assaulted by one of the nursing home employees, or by one of the other residents.

Amounts of Money Suddenly Gone

You should really keep close track of your elder’s financial records. If you see that amounts of money are suddenly disappearing from your elder’s finances, this is a red flag. Somebody from the nursing home might be siphoning finances from your elder behind your back. This is financial abuse.

You Are Ignored

If you are concerned about your elder, you have every right in the world to ask the nursing home questions pertaining the well-being of him/her. If you are being ignored, given a negative attitude and/or not being given definitive answers, there is a chance that abuse going on.

First of all, if the staff members at the nursing home where your elder resides are not professional enough to respect your concerns and/or give you a definitive answer, that, in itself, is a red flag. They are neglecting their responsibility to you. Secondly, if they are ignoring you, giving you an attitude and/or not giving a definitive answer, they may be well aware of the fact that injustices are going on in their facility.

Your Elder Requests To Not Be Around Someone

If your elder requests to not be around a specific employee or resident, take that request very seriously. Your elder could be facing some type of abuse from the person who he/she is trying to avoid.

Change In Behavior

Changes in your elder’s behavior could be a sign that abuse is going on. If your elder acts different, is more withdrawn than usual, does not take part in the activities that he/she usually takes part in, appears depressed and has different sleep patterns, it is time to wonder whether he/she is being abused. These changes can result from any kind of abuse. Is your elder being spoken down to in an undignified way? Is your elder being abused in any other manner?

Outward Comments

If your elder actually says that he/she is being abused, or admits to something that constitutes as abuse, take what he/she has to say very seriously. Listen to every little thing that he/she says, and don’t let anything roll over your head. Even if you think that your elder sounds crazy or out of it, you should still keep in mind everything that he/she tells you. If your elder makes a snippity comment admitting to the fact that he/she has been abused, do not shrug that comment off as just another snippity comment. If your elder admits through a light-hearted joke that he/she is being abused, don’t shrug that off, either.

High Turnover Rate

If the facility has a high turnover rate, there may be a higher chance of your elder being abused. In a facility that constantly hires new people, your elder is always going to have a stranger taking care of him/her. Also, if employees know that they are going to be turned over, there may be some level of resentment and not caring on their part.

Incompetent Staff

If the staff appears to be frantic, “have a bad attitude,” and not be interested in interacting with the residents, there is a chance that your elder might be suffering from abuse. Also, a frantic, mismanaged atmosphere is a sign that your elder may not be tended to correctly.


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