Nursing Home Neglect: How To Recognize It

Even if you did extensive research before choosing your loved one's nursing home, you still need to be aware of the signs of nursing home abuse. Unfortunately, older individuals in nursing homes are prone to various different types of abuse, and it's important for family members to know what to watch for to protect their loved ones. Here's a look at some of the things you should be attentive to when a family member is in a nursing home.

Changes In Behavior And Demeanor

One of the earliest indications of nursing home mistreatment is also the most subtle. You should always be attentive to your loved one's general demeanor and behavior. Any changes that you notice, especially if he or she is becoming quiet and reserved, not engaging with people as they have in the past, or just seems uncomfortable, can be indications that something in their living environment isn't right. Don't automatically dismiss it as just part of aging. Look for any other indications that your family member may be being mistreated.


Older people tend to bruise easily, and those in nursing homes are no exception. However, if you start to notice bruises on your loved one that they can't explain, or that the staff seems to always have the same explanation for, you should consider the possibility of nursing home abuse. Many times, bruises are one of the clearest physical signs, but they are overlooked because of other explanations.


If your loved one is always in bed when you come to visit, and seems to be uncomfortable, you should check to see if they have a problem with bedsores. This is an important thing to monitor because bedsores are a clear sign of neglect. Patients usually only develop bedsores when they aren't being supported, cared for, and moved around enough by their care providers.

Poor Personal Care

Not keeping up with personal hygiene is another common sign of nursing home abuse. Remember that individuals in nursing homes should be getting the support that they need to handle daily hygiene tasks. If the nursing home staff isn't providing that support, your loved one may not be able to handle that care alone. If you notice that personal hygiene is suffering, that's another key indicator of some neglect happening.

If you have any reason to suspect that your loved one is being neglected or abused in their nursing home, you should reach out to a nursing home abuse attorney right away. They will help you build a solid case and properly report the problem. Contact a nursing home abuse attorney for more information.