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Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Helping the Elderly Since 1993

As our loved ones head into the twilight of their lives, they should feel safe, cared for, and comforted. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. In countless nursing homes throughout the country, where our elderly friends and family members expect care and safekeeping, they receive poor care, negligence, and outright abuse. Nobody wants to see their loved ones suffer, which is why it’s important to know how to identify the signs of nursing home abuse.

Common signs of nursing home abuse include:

  • Uncharacteristic bouts of anger or mood swings
  • Malnutrition
  • Poor hygiene
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Fear of caretakers or fellow residents
  • Bedsores
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Unexplained bruises or burns
  • Sedation or other heavy use of medication without justification
  • Missed medication doses or treatments

Each of the signs listed above may indicate a variety of different types of elder abuse. However, depending on the nature of the abuse or negligence your loved one is experiencing, they may show any number of other physical and mental signs.

Sexual Abuse

As terrible as it is to contemplate, elder abuse does sometimes occur in the form of sexual abuse. When sexual abuse occurs, it is likely to leave as much of an emotional mark as it does a physical one. Outward signs of sexual abuse may include bruises and abrasions on the legs, buttocks, hip, or breast areas, or marks from bindings at the wrists or ankles. In addition, the abused person might begin to withdraw from social interaction, avoid physical contact, or lash out in anger.

Physical Abuse

Signs of physical abuse are typically straightforward, but they aren’t always visible. Some abusers take care to hide bruises lacerations, burns, and other physical marks somewhere the victim’s family is unlikely to see them. In addition to the physical signs, the victim might also express fear of their abuser and may ask you not to leave them alone. If your loved one shows signs of physical pain unconnected to known injuries or illnesses, ask them about it.

Financial Abuse

Scammers often prey on the elderly, sometimes through intricate scams, but often through blatant acts of theft. If you notice that your relative’s spending activity has been abnormal, (large withdrawals, unexplained expenses, lavish gifts, etc.) ask them about it and go from there. Likewise, be sure to watch for suspicious account activity, such as changes to powers of attorney, beneficiaries, etc. Your loved one could be forfeiting their assets due to manipulation or blackmail, or the financial abuse could be happening without their knowledge.


If your loved one is being neglected, he or she may be lacking proper care from the responsible caretakers, doctors, or nurses. As a result, they may withhold food or water, fail to perform proper room cleanings or uphold patient hygiene. Likewise, the facility may fail to rotate bedridden patients, resulting in bedsores or infections. If a problem arises, a negligent facility might also fail to report the issue to medical authorities, resulting in delayed or complete lack of necessary medical treatment. In short, negligence means your loved one’s caretaker is not performing their job as they should, resulting in a severe lack of attention and care.

Do You Suspect Abuse? Our Attorneys Can Help.

There are several telltale signs you can look for if you suspect abuse, but the main thing to keep in mind is that you know your loved one better than anyone else. If their behavior is odd and you think something is wrong, go with your instincts. Ask important questions and talk to your loved one and their caretaker to get as much information as you can. If you discover that your relative is the victim of any form of nursing home elder abuse, reach out to our team of attorneys immediately.

Call (800) 328-2630 or contact Garcia & Artigliere to schedule a free case review with our Nursing home abuse attorneys. We serve clients nationwide and have offices in Long Beach, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Orlando, New Orleans, and Lexington.

Why Hire
Garcia & Artigliere?

  • Founder Stephen M. Garcia has served as lead counsel in more than 2,500 elder and/or dependent adult abuse cases.
  • Garcia & Artigliere has served as counsel on behalf on consumers throughout the United States in matters resulting in over $1.3 billion in settlements and jury verdicts.
  • At Garcia & Artigliere, you will never be charged a fee - not even court costs or expenses - until we win your case.
  • The firm is known for successfully handling the most complex cases of elder neglect and mistreatment.
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Artigliere there is no fee - not even court costs - unless we win your
case. Call (800) 328-2630 today!

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