How to Identify the Signs and Report Nursing Home Abuse


by Contributor

(Jul. 18, 2019) — Identifying and witnessing the signs of elder abuse and neglect can be difficult. It’s important to report nursing home abuse to the proper authorities.

Are you concerned about the welfare of your loved one in a nursing home?

Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon. Estimates show that 10% of nursing home residents will face some form of abuse.

If you think neglect is happening with your loved one, you need to know the signs and how to report nursing home abuse.

Keep reading to learn what to look for and how to handle this situation.

Signs of Elder Abuse

Not all elder abuse is the same. It can come in the form of physical, emotional, sexual, and financial. But you can spot the signs. Make sure to keep the below in mind when you think abuse is happening.

Unexplained Bruising

Bruising can happen when you’re older. Your body isn’t as healthy, and you’re more prone to falls.

The problem is when the nursing home can’t explain how the bruises got there. It can be a sign of physical abuse.

Bed Sores

People need to get up and move around during the day. If they stay in bed for too long, they can get bed sores.

If they aren’t getting up and around, it could be a sign of physical abuse. It doesn’t matter if it’s because of neglect or if it’s planned.

Social Changes

Much of the time, your loved one won’t have a problem being social. They’ll be more than happy to chat with you and other residents.

When that changes, it’s a sign that abuse could be happening. Abuse can cause a significant change in your mental status. Try to get your loved one to confide in you if they aren’t as social as they used to be.

Avoidance of Staff

When abuse happens, it’s hard to trust the people taking care of you. When you’re visiting, try to notice if your loved one is avoiding contact with any of the staff in the facility.

Rapid Weight Loss

A nursing home should be providing your loved one well-balanced meals that keep them at a healthy weight. If you see rapid weight loss, it’s a sign that they may not be getting the food they need to stay healthy.

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse

If you see any of the above signs of nursing home abuse, don’t hesitate to report it. Doctors and nursing home staff are required by law to report any complaints about abuse.

You can report this through your local state authorities. You can contact the Eldercare Locator, National Center on Elder Abuse, your loved one’s primary care provider, or call 911.

Once you start the process and the signs can be verified, you will need to contact a lawyer that specializes in elder abuse cases. You may end up filing a nursing home lawsuit to get the matter settled.

Take Nursing Home Abuse Seriously

Don’t just sit back and let it happen. If you think something is going on, then report nursing home abuse. When you get in touch with the right people, they’ll make sure to solve any problems to help keep your loved one safe.

If you’re ready to proceed after finding abuse, you need to find a good lawyer. Head back to our articles to learn how you can find the right one.

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