What Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Looks Like

Last updated 1 year ago

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, approximately 1-2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, neglected, or abused by their nursing home caregivers. Unfortunately, only about 1 in every 5 incidents is reported to authorities. Help keep your elderly loved ones safe by educating yourself on what nursing home neglect and abuse looks like.

What is Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse, or elder abuse, refers to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver that risks or causes serious harm to a vulnerable adult. While the specific laws regarding elder abuse vary from state to state, the most common forms of nursing home abuse include:

  • Physical abuse: Inflicting physical pain or threatening to harm an elderly individual. Physical abuse can also include depriving someone of a basic need.
  • Verbal or emotional abuse: inflicting mental pain or distress on an elderly person through verbal or nonverbal acts.
  • Sexual abuse: Any type of non-consensual sexual contact.
  • Neglect:  Refusal or failure by caregivers to provide adequate food, shelter, protection, or medical care.
  • Exploitation or personal property abuse: Illegal taking or misuse of an elderly individual’s property or funds. 
  • Explained falls or fractures
  • Bedsores

Signs and Symptoms

The signs of elder abuse and neglect can manifest in a number of ways, including:

  • Bruises, pressure marks, abrasions, burns. and broken bones.
  • Unexplained change in alertness, unusual depression, or sudden withdrawal from normal activities.
  • Bedsores, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss.
  • Unattended medical needs.
  • Sudden changes in financial situations (exploitation).

You’ll also want to look for any signs of strain or tension between your elderly loved one and his or her caregiver. Belittling, frequent arguments, and threats are all behavioral indicators of nursing home abuse.

The best way to prevent nursing home neglect or abuse is to listen to your elderly family members when they express their concerns. If you suspect that your loved one is being neglected or abused by their caregivers, then contact our personal injury attorneys with Malman Law today.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

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