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  • Andrew Littlejohn Johnson

Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing Home Abuse

During their golden years, elders deserve nothing less than a tranquil existence. However, the grim reality is that many nursing home seniors are subjected to abuse and neglect. These facilities, which are meant to provide compassionate care and support for our beloved elders, can often become breeding grounds for mistreatment and apathy.

It's crucial to bring attention to the vulnerability of elderly nursing home residents. It's not merely a moral obligation to do so, but it’s also a way to protect the dignity of older people. Our society's values are reflected in how we care for our elderly, and when these values are compromised, the entire fabric of compassion and empathy is torn.

In this blog, we discuss various types of abuse in nursing homes and the most common signs of mistreatment so readers are armed with the necessary information to take action.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

When it comes to nursing home neglect and abuse, it's essential to understand how they can happen. The following are the most common types of mistreatment that the elderly experience in assisted living facilities:

Physical Abuse

Nursing home mistreatment can come in the form of physical abuse, which involves intentionally using force to harm or injure elderly residents. This rough treatment can cause lasting damage, which goes against the essence of safety and care that nursing homes should provide. It is crucial to identify signs of nursing home abuse so that we can ensure the well-being of residents and put a stop to these unacceptable practices.

Signs to look out for:

  • Unexplained bruises, cuts or welts

  • Sprains or fractures without a reasonable explanation

  • Restraint marks on wrists or ankles

  • Sudden and unexplained weight loss

  • Changes in behavior, such as increased agitation or withdrawal

  • Evidence of overmedication or under medication

  • Fear or unease around certain staff members

  • Reluctance to discuss injuries or health concerns

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

In nursing homes, holistic well-being should always be maintained. Unfortunately, emotional or psychological abuse can leave elderly residents with long-lasting scars. This mistreatment involves intentionally causing emotional pain, distress or fear, which can destroy residents' sense of safety and respect.

Signs to look out for:

  • Resident's sudden and unexplained changes in behavior, such as increased agitation or withdrawal

  • Expressions of fear, anxiety or depression in the absence of clear reasons

  • Resident's reluctance to communicate or engage with certain staff members or residents

  • Unexplained emotional distress or mood swings

  • Staff members isolating, ignoring or belittling the resident

  • Resident displaying signs of emotional turmoil during interactions with specific individuals

  • Resident's self-soothing behaviors, such as rocking or mumbling

  • Unwarranted restrictions on communication with family or friends

  • Resident's hesitance to share their feelings, fearing repercussions

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse in nursing homes is a deeply concerning issue, as it involves the unauthorized or deceitful manipulation of an elderly resident's financial resources. This reprehensible act can have devastating consequences, leaving vulnerable seniors in financial distress. Caregivers, staff members or even other residents may exploit the trust placed in them by engaging in activities such as unauthorized withdrawals, identity theft or the misappropriation of funds.

Signs to look out for:

  • Unexplained withdrawals or transfers of funds from the resident's accounts

  • Missing personal belongings or valuables, such as jewelry or heirlooms

  • Changes in financial documents or account ownership without proper consent

  • Unusual or unauthorized use of the resident's credit cards or financial assets

  • Forged signatures on financial transactions or legal documents

  • Resident's sudden inability to afford basic needs or services

  • Unexplained changes in the resident's financial situation or lifestyle

  • Caregivers or staff members expressing undue interest in the resident's finances

  • Isolation or restriction of the resident's access to their financial information

  • Resident's lack of awareness or confusion regarding their financial matters


Neglect in nursing homes is a distressing reality that involves the failure to provide essential care, attention and support to elderly residents. It can take various forms of mistreatment, such as insufficient medical attention and hygiene care and disregarding residents' emotional well-being and safety. This type of mistreatment can strip seniors of dignity and put their physical and emotional health at risk, resulting in avoidable illnesses, injuries and distress.

Signs to look out for:

  • Poor personal hygiene, including unwashed hair, body odor and soiled clothing

  • Untreated medical conditions or lack of proper medication management

  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers due to prolonged immobilization or inadequate repositioning

  • Malnutrition or dehydration, evident through sudden weight loss or signs of thirst

  • Dirty or unsanitary living conditions, including unclean bedding or living spaces

  • Lack of social interaction or engagement with other residents and staff

  • Ignored or unanswered requests for assistance from residents

  • Resident's untreated injuries, infections or health issues

  • Disregard for safety measures, leading to accidents or falls

  • Resident's emotional distress, withdrawal or signs of depression

Taking Action Against Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse

As soon as signs of nursing home neglect come to light, it's crucial to seek legal assistance immediately. A lawyer with experience and resources can navigate the complex legal system and fight for the rights of those who have suffered in silence.

Don't let nursing home neglect go unaddressed. Your voice matters, and your loved ones deserve justice. Contact Attorney Andrew "Littlejohn" Johnson today for a free consultation to discuss your potential wrongful death claim. Let us help you navigate the legal process, fight for your family's rights, and hold those accountable for their actions.


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