When you move a family member to a senior living facility, you entrust the staff to provide kind and compassionate care. Unfortunately, nursing home neglect and mistreatment can occur, and elderly victims don’t or can’t always speak up. Keep an eye out for these common signs of abuse when you visit your loved one in their community.

How to Spot Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

1. Unexplained Injuries

Since seniors are frail, they’re prone to getting cuts, bruises, and broken bones. However, an injury should always have an explainable cause, such as a fall.

If you notice your loved one is hurt, ask them what happened. If they’re unsure, a staff member should be able to tell you what caused the injury.

2. Bedsores

Bedsores form when pressure is applied to an area of the body for a prolonged period. These skin ulcers can develop quickly and take a while to heal, increasing the risk of infection.

nursing home neglectIf your loved one has bedsores—especially around the heels, ankles, hips, or tailbone—it could be because they are remaining in one position on their bed for too long. Talk to a staff member about what you see. If your loved one is unable to move independently, the staff should be repositioning them every day.

3. Personal Hygiene Problems

Nursing home employees are responsible for helping elderly residents with basic hygiene and personal care.

When you visit your loved one, they should always be wearing different clothes and shouldn’t have strong body odors. Their bedding must also be changed regularly, so dirty, stained, or sullied sheets are red flags.

4. Changes in Personality

Neglect and abuse can affect a victim's personality. Many seniors can become withdrawn, depressed, aggressive, easier to startle, or quicker to anger.

If your loved one has sudden mood or personality changes, it might be due to abusive treatment. Ask them if they’re having any problems and seek the advice of an attorney if you suspect they have been harmed.


If you believe your loved one might have experienced nursing home abuse, contact Miraldi & Barrett, Co. in Lorain, OH. For more than 70 years, this firm has provided first-rate legal representation to families throughout the greater Cleveland area. They understand the sensitive nature of abuse cases and treat clients compassionately. Visit their website to learn more about nursing home neglect, and call (440) 233-1100 to schedule a consultation today.