Nursing Home Abuse The Warning Signs

When your loved one loses their ability to take care of themselves, you’ll more than likely look for an assisted living facility or nursing home to provide them with the attention and care they need and deserve.

Unfortunately, according to Nursing Home Abuse Justice, as many as 5,000,000 elders are abused each year.

Our attorneys at Mendes, Reins & Wilander, PLLC specialize in Nursing Home and Assisted Living facility litigation and have obtained over $300 million in jury verdicts. Because of this, we’re a trusted resource to lean on in difficult situations.

If you’re looking for more information about the signs of nursing home abuse, here’s what to look for.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can be more difficult to identify as the signs aren’t as apparent as those of physical abuse. However, there are warning signs to be aware of including:

  • Behavior change –  Emotional abuse can cause a person to withdraw from engaging in social activities because of anxiety.
  • Fear of being alone – If your loved one is afraid to be alone or in the care of a particular caretaker, take note.
  • Repetitive behavior – This is characterized by rocking back-and-forth, or mumbling to oneself.

Though some of these warning signs are common behavior as a person ages, be cognizant of patterns. If you feel as if these behaviors are the result of something more serious, do your due diligence to get to the source.

Financial Abuse

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of financial abuse, here’s what to look for:

  • Checks that are written as “gifts” or loans” to a person whose name you don’t recognize
  • Inability to remember certain purchases
  • Insufficient funds
  • Missing checkbook, credit cards, debit cards, and other personal documents
  • Unexplained withdrawals and expenditures


This type of abuse is characterized by inadequate care for an elderly person. From insufficient nourishment to a lack of hydration, neglect can lead to physical and emotional harm.

Signs of neglect include:

  • Bedsores – A result of limited movement
  • Loss of mobility – From staying immobile for long periods of time
  • Malnutrition – Weight loss and dehydration
  • Medication errors – Missing doses or taking too much that leads to overmedication
  • Poor hygiene – Body odor, skin conditions, and unclean clothes

Physical Abuse

When talking about nursing home abuse, this is the most common as it’s typically the most obvious.

Signs of physical abuse include but aren’t limited to:

  • Broken bones – Fractures are to the elbows, wrists, and hips are most common. Experienced professionals can tell the difference between an accidental injury and one that’s caused by an assault.
  • Bruising – This can be a result of the person being grabbed or restrained. Look at the person’s ankles, upper arms, and wrists.
  • Fear – If a person is a victim of physical abuse, they’ll be fearful and easily startled as they’ll always be on edge to protect themselves.

Physical abuse can be characterized as “accidental.” That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to your loved one and be on the lookout for recurring or new injuries.

Sexual Abuse

Signs of sexual abuse in the elderly include but aren’t limited to:

  • Bruising of the genitals or inner thigh
  • Developing a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
  • Panic attacks
  • Pelvic injury
  • Problems sitting or walking

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, our team can help. Contact us today at 888-862-0025 or via email.