The Law Center

Nursing Home Abuse Prevention – How to Keep your loved one Safe

Placing a loved one in a nursing home can be a difficult decision, financially and emotionally, for everyone involved.  You want nothing but the best of care, and it would be heartbreaking to know that your family member was mistreated.  How do you know when someone is being mistreated and what can you do if they are?   To guard against nursing home abuse, know what it is and how to identify the signs so you can stop it.

First, there’s Physical abuse from things like pushing, kicking, and hitting.  This can manifest itself with:

  • Bruises or bleeding
  • Physical injuries
  • Broken bones or factures

There’s also Emotional abuse: from things like screaming, taunting, or isolating residents.  Look for:

  • Silence around caretakers
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation

Nursing home neglect: which can cause malnutrition, infections, and other health problems. Signs are

  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Unexplained diseases or infections
  • Physical discomfort
  • Bedsores

Financial abuse.  Look for Sudden financial difficulties

  • Bills left unpaid by the elder
  • Changes in the elder’s will
  • Change in power of attorney

Sexual abuse; signs are

  • Bloody underwear
  • Bruises on or around an elder’s genitals
  • Unexplained venereal diseases 

What behavior among nursing home staff is an indicator of abuse?

  • Chronic, repeated failure to respond to residents’ requests for assistance
  • Unresponsiveness to concerns about conflicts between residents
  • Disrespect or poor attitudes toward residents
  • Improperly administering medications

How can you find the signs?

  • Talk to other families and residents
  • Connect and engage with all the staff members that you can
  • Take notes about what you observe to keep a record
  • Record video, take pictures
  • Ask lots of questions;
  • Save all the information you receive
  • Share the information you learn

Nursing home residents can be unable or even too disgusted or ashamed to come forward and tell anyone of the hardships they are experiencing. As a result, it’s important that families of nursing home residents keep a close eye on their loved ones and seek legal counsel if they believe that abuse may have taken place.

If your loved one might have been a victim of nursing home abuse, click the “Request Consultation” button for a free case evaluation.