Contact Us for a Free Consultation

Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

For elderly people living in nursing homes, abuse is an unfortunate reality. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), more than 40% of nursing home residents have reported that they suffered abuse.

This problem becomes worse when you consider that many elderly nursing home residents don’t have the tools to fight for their own well-being. Nursing home residents can have trouble communicating, or fear retaliation from staff for reporting abuse. By adequately understanding nursing home abuse and the signs and symptoms of abuse, you can speak up for your family members who may not be able to do so themselves.

What Is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse can take on many forms. The most common types of abuse seen in a nursing home include:

  • Physical: Physical abuse in a nursing home can involve assault, shoving, hitting, using restraints to keep the patient from moving, or not providing proper medicine or nutrition.

  • Emotional: Emotional or psychological abuse inflicts pain in a non-physical way. This can include harassment, humiliation, threats, intimidation, and isolation.

  • Financial: Financial abuse is the illegal or improper using of the victim’s personal assets or property. This can take the form of stealing, coercing signatures to documents, or abusing the benefits of a power of attorney.

  • Neglect: Some estimates claim that 90% of nursing home residents suffer from neglect. This is defined as failing to care adequately for the elderly, so they can live a comfortable life.

As you can see, there are a lot of forms of nursing home abuse. It is important that you recognize the signs of these types of abuse so that you can make sure your family member is safe.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Elderly nursing home residents may not be able to communicate the signs of their abuse. Check on your elderly family member and see if they are exhibiting any of the signs below because they may be suffering abuse.

Physical Abuse

A nursing home resident may be suffering from physical abuse if they have unexplained bruising, or broken bones, signs of restraints on the wrists, and are afraid of certain staff members or fellow residents.

Emotional abuse

Signs of emotional abuse include depression, fear of particular staff members or fellow residents, and changes in mood.

Financial Abuse

Your elderly family member may be suffering from financial exploitation if their belongings are missing, there are unexplained transfers of money from their bank accounts, sudden changes to their will or other financial and legal documents.


Nursing home residents may be suffering from neglect if you notice dehydration, unsanitary living conditions, malnutrition, or untreated bedsores.

These are only some of the signs of the most common forms of abuse. Do your best to listen to the nursing home residents in your family to ensure that they’re being taken care of properly. If you think your family member is being abused, please reach out to our lawyers.

Call Dempsey & Kingsland, P.C. today at (816) 484-3776 for a free consultation regarding your case.