How to Recognize Abuse and Neglect

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a sad reality. The best thing families and caregivers can do is recognize the signs of abuse or neglect and get help immediately.

One of the best ways to fight nursing home abuse and neglect is to recognize the signs and get help quickly. While physical signs of nursing home abuse may be easily recognized, there are many signs that are not as easily noticed. This is why it is important for family members and caregivers to know how to recognize abuse and neglect and know where to turn for help.

What are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse can happen in many different ways. Physical manifestations can be easily identified due to unexplained injuries. Emotional or sexual abuse, or financial exploitation, may be more difficult to identify. Families and caregivers should be on the lookout for signs of nursing home abuse, such as:

  • Unexplained bruises, blisters, cuts or burns
  • Bedsores
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Dehydration or malnutrition
  • Poor hygiene
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Unusual violent or aggressive behavior
  • Fearfulness of staff or other residents
  • Sudden diagnosis with a sexually-transmitted disease (STD)
  • Unexplained missing property or money
  • Strange transactions on bank accounts

What are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect?

Nursing home neglect is a type of nursing home abuse. Rather than inflicting harm on the resident, harm comes from neglecting the resident and his or her needs. This includes neglecting their basic needs, medical needs or need for safety and support. Families and caregivers should be mindful that neglect can be difficult to spot. Be on the lookout for signs of nursing home neglect, such as:

  • Facility or resident rooms are not clean and tidy
  • Your loved one develops bedsores due to lack of turning or transferring
  • Your loved one is not receiving medication at the scheduled time
  • Staff members ignore residents
  • Your loved one has personality changes or develops depression
meagan cline

Written By Meagan Cline

Meagan Cline is a professional legal researcher and writer. She lends her expertise to FNHA and our websites, including Birth Injury Guide and