Recognizing Nursing Home Abuse: Signs to Look Out for

We call upon nursing homes when it becomes impossible to take care of a loved family member at home, so it’s always tragic to see how common nursing home abuse is in even a country like the United States. It doesn’t always take a global pandemic for nursing home workers to neglect their duties because if that’s the only time it happened, we could still make some sense out of it.

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Setting aside extraordinary circumstances, here are a few common signs of nursing home abuse that everyone should beware of so that the mistreated patient can be immediately relocated and appropriately compensated.


Bruises, scratches, broken bones, and bedsores occur when people get hit, fall down or are neglected by the staff, so unless the nursing home authorities can explain them to you in some way that makes sense and cannot be called their fault, take it as a sign of nursing home abuse. Unfortunate as it is, nursing home abuse in NYC is far too common and if you have reason to suspect physical abuse of any kind, don’t hesitate to call a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately after.


Someone suffering from a disease that can lead to malnutrition or at least the appearance of being malnourished, is common among the elderly. However, unless there is verifiable evidence that the malnutrition and/or dehydration you are seeing is a result of something similar, it is most certainly a sign that your loved one is being subjected to either extreme negligence or willful abuse by one or more of the staff/management.

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Identifying sadness as a sign of nursing home abuse is a bit tricky since a lot of patients in nursing homes already suffer from various degrees of depression to begin with, but that may not always be the case. Look for negative emotions and outbursts that feel uncharacteristic of their personality.

If you notice a sudden change of mood in your senior family member that you did not notice before, there is likely something happening at the facility. It doesn’t instantly mean that the faculty is at fault, but you should be asking the patient, the staff, and the management about it all the same.

Financial Discrepancy

Just because someone is in a nursing home, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are not in control of their finances, of course. However, far too many nursing homes have been found guilty of the following, which are also easy to identify as signs of financial abuse of the elderly.

  • Sudden changes in the will and or the power of attorney
  • Missing valuables, cards and cash
  • Fraudulent withdrawals and cheques
  • Purchases, subscriptions, etc. that do not feel linked to the elderly relative

Most of the seniors who go to nursing homes are usually patients who have very little ability left in them to judge good from poor, or even to do something about it when they are being abused. So, the next time you go to visit your nana at the nursing home, make sure that she isn’t showing any signs of nursing home abuse. If she does have signs though, make them pay for it quite literally, by calling in a nursing home abuse lawyer and suing them. Also, don’t leave her in that facility after that!

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