Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Making the decision to place a loved one in a nursing home is difficult on the family. As a child, grandchild or sibling you want your family member to receive great care. Many nursing homes provide sufficient care and attention to residents. However, there are some nursing home facilities that neglect or even abuse their elderly residents. If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, there are signs to look for that would indicate nursing home abuse. defines elder abuse as doing “something or failing to do something that results in harm to an elderly person or puts a helpless older person at risk of harm.” Elder abuse includes the following:

  • Physical abuse – hitting, pushing, shaking or burning with the intent to injure the elder person
  • Sexual abuse – nonconsensual sexual contact, inappropriate touching or rape
  • Emotional abuse – harassment, insults or intimidation
  • Neglecting an older person – failing to give the care necessary to avoid physical or mental harm
  • Stealing an elder person’s money or property

Elder abuse occurs when someone causes harm to an older adult, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In nursing homes, this person can be a professional caregiver. There are certain signs that you can look for that would indicate nursing home neglect or abuse. According to, these signs include:

  • Bruises or cuts
  • Rope burns or marks
  • Unexplainable broken bones or sprains
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Dehydration
  • Malnourishment
  • Weight loss
  • Poor hygiene
  • Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers
  • Medical needs that are not being met
  • Agitation or withdrawal
  • Fear
  • Comments regarding abuse
  • Missing money or valuables

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused by the nursing home staff, you need to take immediate action. The police should be contacted if your family member is in imminent danger. If there is no urgent danger, you should report your concerns to your local long-term care ombudsman. They will investigate your claim to determine if neglect or abuse is taking place. You should also contact a Florida nursing home abuse attorney who can help you with your case. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help you recover damages for your injured loved one. Contact the law offices of Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP at (863) 683-1111 for expert legal advice. We have the knowledge and experience necessary to hold the nursing home accountable for the harm they caused your loved one and your family.