Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse

Signs of nursing home abuse or neglect can often be difficult to recognize, as they may be confused with the symptoms of dementia or physical frailty. While many signs of senior abuse may be similar to the symptoms of mental or physical deterioration, they should not be dismissed or ignored.

If your family member’s caregiver seems reluctant to leave you alone with your loved one, you notice tension or frequent arguments between a senior and their caregiver, or a sudden and unexpected change in personality or behavior, you should look closely for other warning signs of neglect, and physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

Protect your loved ones with this guide from the expert nursing home abuse attorneys at Kaplan & Lukowski, LLP on how to detect the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect.

Recognizing Physical Abuse

In addition to instances of assault, such as hitting or pushing, physical abuse may also include confinement, restraint or immobilization, and improper use or withholding of medication.
Symptoms of physical abuse in nursing homes may include:

• Chronic and unexplained injuries such as bruises, welts, bed sores, or scars
• Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations
• Inconsistent medication schedules or too many or too few prescriptions pills remaining
• Broken glasses
• Signs of being restrained, especially if they are symmetrical on both sides of the body, such as rope marks on wrists

Symptoms of Elder Neglect

Neglect comprises more than half of all reported senior abuse cases.
Telltale signs of neglect may include any of the following:

• Dramatic weight loss due to malnutrition or dehydration
• Bed sores or other untreated conditions
• Unclean living space (bug infestation, soiled bedding, excessive dirt or mold)
• Being left unbathed or in dirty clothing
• Insufficient clothing or accessories for the weather
• Dilapidated living conditions (no heat, broken air conditioning, shut off water; faulty electrical wiring, other fire hazards)
• Abandonment of the senior at a public place

Signs of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

Emotional abuse can be verbal or nonverbal, such as shouting and threatening or isolating the elder from friends and family. Generally, the abuse is intended to cause the senior emotional pain or distress and distance them from loved ones.
Emotional abuse can cause any of the following symptoms:

• Threatening, aggressive, or controlling statements
• Unexplained absence or withdrawal from social settings or activities they previously enjoyed
• Behavior such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling, which can often be confused with dementia

Evidence of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse may occur in a variety of ways. The most serious are rape, sodomy and inappropriate touching. Signs of elder sexual abuse may include:

• Bruises or cuts on or around their breasts or genitals
• Vaginal or anal bleeding
• Diagnosis of venereal disease or genital infections
• Ripped, stained, or bloody underwear or bedding

Contact Kaplan & Lukowski for Nursing Home Abuse Legal Counsel

If you believe your loved one may be suffering from abuse at their nursing home or assisted care facility, protect them by contacting the experienced abuse and neglect attorneys at Kaplan & Lukowski immediately. Our Atlanta-area attorneys have over 40 years of legal experience and are here to help you defend your loved one from abuse and neglect.

Contact our Atlanta office at 404-845-0012 or fill out our online contact form to set up your free consultation and case evaluation.