How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse

Indications of Nursing Home Abuse

When your mother, father or another elderly member of your family is in a nursing home, you worry that they are getting the care they need. According to the National Council on Aging, this is not an idle worry. The organization reports that there are approximately five million cases of elder abuse annually. It is essential that you are their advocates, protecting them from such horrific acts. Let’s explore the signs you can look for and what you can do to stop it.

Travis Law Firm

We offer compassionate and professional assistance to families who are fighting against nursing home abuse. In our society, older individuals need to be protected from acts of abuse leveled against them. If you suspect that your parent or family member is being abused, contact us. Our nursing home abuse lawyers will work diligently to right this wrong. You can reach us at (814) 277-2222 to schedule a free case review or contact us online

We will explore your case and answer any questions you might have. Our lawyers will work diligently to ensure the at-fault parties are held accountable for this egregious behavior and file a lawsuit against them. Not only will this hurt them financially, but it will also give justice for your loved one’s situation and prevent it from happening again.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

It is easy to believe that your loved one is receiving good care in a nursing home. Not only is it expected but any form of abuse is often hidden behind smiles and the staff pretending to care. The nursing home is responsible for hiring and training staff so your loved one is taken care of, and they are obligated to fire staff members who do otherwise. So, in the end, you need to be observant and watch for signals that nursing home abuse is occurring. Here are some ways to spot it:

  • Physical abuse or neglect: Look for signs of dehydration and lack of physical aids the person requires such as glasses and walking canes. Take a look to see if the conditions at the nursing home appear to be sanitary, and check for signs of poor hygiene such as bed sores or indications the person has not bathed. Look for bruises or cuts, and watch if the person appears to be in pain. Make sure that medical needs are taken care of when you visit and that the person appears well-nourished. If needed, question the personnel about visits to a physician.
  • Emotional abuse: Signs of emotional abuse include a tense relationship with the caregivers. The elder may be depressed or less alert than usual. They also may show signs of withdrawing from once enjoyable activities such as playing cards with friends at the nursing home.
  • Financial abuse: Abrupt changes in an elderly person’s finances might point to this form of abuse. Take a look at bank withdrawals, and look for unknown signatures or out-of-usual purchases. 
  • Sexual abuse: Unfortunately, this form of abuse occurs and is often most difficult to discover. Look for subtle signs with a single staff member that may manifest as fear of that person. Note if your loved one is taking medication for a sexually transmitted disease. 

What You Should Do

File a complaint with the nursing home and with local authorities. It may be best to look into moving the elderly person to another nursing home if corrections are not made. Filing a lawsuit against the nursing home also takes the facility to task. Talk your options over with a nursing home lawyer to ensure that the right steps are being taken. 

The Travis Law Firm

The members of my legal staff at the Travis Law Firm are available if you suspect that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home. Make an appointment with us, and we can discuss the options you have to protect them from further abuse. We can be reached at (814) 277-2022 in the Erie area and from all of northwestern Pennsylvania.