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What are some common signs of nursing home abuse?

Deciding to put a loved one in a nursing home may be the best option if an individual is unable to live on their own or if they need more care than their family can provide. Those in Louisiana who decide to put a loved one in a nursing home trust that the staff at their chosen facility will properly take care of their loved one. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Here are some common signs nursing home abuse is taking place.

One sign of elder abuse is bedsores. These could develop if staff does not move the individual to another part of their body to relieve the pressure on the first part of their body. Bedsores may be considered to be a "never event," as they are obvious, serious and in most cases can be prevented.

Another sign of elder abuse is falls. Falls to senior citizens can be deadly. Like bedsores, falls are also considered to be "never events" as nursing homes should have plans in place that will keep falls from happening.

Unexplained bruising and broken bones could also be a sign of elder abuse, particularly when they occur to non-verbal individuals. Moreover, if a person is bedbound and suffers a broken bone, it may indicate that the person was either physically assaulted or was dropped.

In addition, medication errors may be a sign of elder abuse. Many nursing homes have pharmacies on their premises, which residents must use. However, sometimes the wrong medication is handed out or the dosage is incorrect. These errors can seriously injure or even kill a resident.

Another sign of elder abuse is sexual abuse. In fact, 71 percent of incidents of sexual abuse to the elderly takes place in a nursing home. Often the perpetrator of the abuse is a nursing home employee.

Finally, malnutrition and dehydration may also be signs of elder abuse. Some individuals are unable to speak, and so cannot communicate whether they need something to eat or drink. In fact, malnutrition and dehydration are the most prevalent instances of neglect in nursing homes.

It is important that those with loved ones in a nursing home keep an eye on their loved one, to ensure their loved one is not being abused. If nursing home abuse is suspected, it may help to seek legal help to determine what steps to take next.

Source:, "Seven signs of Potential Elder Abuse," Michael Brevda, July 20, 2016

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