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Nursing Home Abuse: Signs You Need to Look For

When a loved one can no longer live independently, assisted care facilities and nursing homes are supposed to provide a safe place for them to get the help they need. We trust the staff and administrators at these facilities to ensure care, support, and comfort, but unfortunately, abuse can and often does occur. To help you better protect your loved ones, we are sharing the five types of nursing home abuse as well as the signs that it may be occurring.

Physical Nursing Home Abuse

Physical abuse occurs when someone intentionally causes pain or injury, including hitting, pushing, shaking, or kicking them. Additionally, restraining someone is also physical abuse. Signs include:

  • Bruises and lacerations
  • Head injuries
  • Sprains or broken bones

When staff attribute injuries to clumsiness or unexplained falls and accidents, this can be a red flag and may be worth investigating.

nursing home abuse lawyer

Emotional Abuse

This is the most common type of nursing home abuse and occurs when staff intentionally tries to cause emotional distress in order to gain control. This includes bullying, humiliating, or intimidating the individual, as well as isolating them from visitors and other people. While this is harder to detect, signs include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawal from others
  • PTSD symptoms
  • Fearfulness
  • Agitation

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any kind of sexual contact or exposure without consent or with someone who can’t provide knowing or informed consent. This happens more frequently than many people realize, particularly to people who are non-verbal. Signs include:

  • Pelvic pain and bleeding
  • Recurring urinary tract infections
  • Bruising
  • Sexually transmitted infection or disease (STIs/STDs)
  • PTSD symptoms
  • Withdrawal

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse refers to improper or illegal use of an individual’s assets, money, or property. In nursing homes and assisted care facilities, this often involves the theft of belongings as well as coercing residents or patients to give them money or even to sign documents giving them access to assets. Signs of financial abuse include:

  • Missing items
  • Unexplained credit card charges
  • Forged checks
  • Unexplained money withdrawals
  • Identity theft

We recommend appointing someone, such as a designated family member or even an attorney, to periodically monitor financial accounts for any suspicious activity.

Nursing Home Neglect

Neglect in nursing homes is also becoming increasingly common. While many facilities are short-staffed, that’s still not an excuse for failing to provide the basic needs to their residents and patients. Signs of neglect include:

  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Bedsores
  • Poor hygiene
  • Dirty bedding or living areas
  • Secondary infections
  • Accidents and injuries due to not having assistance

Recognizing Additional Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

In addition to the signs of nursing home abuse listed above, there are other red flags to look for, such as not being allowed to see or speak with a loved one or sudden, unexplained changes in personality or behavior. Also, it’s important to listen to your instincts, and if you feel there is something wrong, investigate further.

If you do suspect nursing home abuse, call 911 if you feel your loved one is in immediate danger, but otherwise, report your concerns to Adult Protective Services who can investigate the case. In addition to this, they may have other reports against the nursing home facility and will have more information to take action.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Houston

If your loved one is the victim of neglect or abuse, your family may be entitled to compensation for pain, trauma, and medical bills accrued in their treatment. Our nursing home abuse attorneys will fight to get fair compensation and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Reach out to us today at 888-335-0015 or fill out the form below to get started.