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4 Signs Your Loved One is Experiencing Abuse in a Nursing Home

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately one in six people 60 years and older experience some form of abuse in nursing homes every year. Unfortunately, most victims don’t report the case, while others can’t communicate how they have been mistreated.

It’s essential that families of those in nursing homes be able to identify the signs of elderly abuse so they can take action to protect their loved ones. Here are four clear signs that abuse might be happening in a nursing home.  

1. Unexplained physical injuries and bruising

Unexplained physical injuries are among the most common signs of nursing home abuse. Nursing home staff who are overwhelmed or stressed may turn to a vulnerable elderly and physically harm the patient by pinching, scratching, or hitting them. If they didn’t have a history of fall risk, the elderly patient may suddenly suffer from broken bones or fractures due to a fall.

It’s common for older adults to have bruises due to their medical conditions. However, inherently thinning skin or mishaps can be a clear sign that your elderly loved one is being abused by their caregiver. If your loved one has an injury from an unknown source, you have the right to investigate. Fortunately, with an Akron Personal Injury Lawyer, you don’t have to do this investigation on your own. Let an experienced lawyer help you find the answer.

2. Infections

Infections can be life-threatening for the elderly since their bodies have weakened immune systems, making it hard to fight off and heal from infections. Nursing home employees are trained to keep the rooms safe and clean, so there is an issue that needs to be addressed if infections are still cropping up.

It might not be ardent abuse or neglect, but stepping in to be a voice of support for your loved one is essential in this case. It can help get the elderly living space back into a safe, clean, and infection-free state.

3. Visible emotional changes

A sudden change in personality or intense emotions in an elderly loved one could signify abuse. Your elderly loved one could suddenly appear fearful, agitated, or embarrassed due to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Depressed mood, sudden withdrawal from favorite activities, disrupted sleep, and becoming uncommunicative could also be a sign something is wrong. Visit your loved one regularly to help keep them in a healthy mental state.

4. Malnutrition and dehydration

Malnutrition and dehydration are two common signs of nursing home neglect. Some common causes of malnutrition and dehydration in nursing home residents include untrained or unavailability of staff to assist the elderly who need help with eating and drinking.

The human body requires a balance of vitamins, proteins, minerals, fat, and carbohydrates, but an elderly patient might be malnourished even if they look overweight. If you have a suspicion that your elderly loved one in a nursing home suffers from malnutrition or dehydration, you should act immediately. The negative effects of malnourishment and dehydration in a nursing home can intensify quickly. 


Nursing home abuse is disgraceful, and it’s difficult to understand why someone would want to hurt the most vulnerable people. Fortunately, by observing these common signs of potential elderly abuse, you can protect your loved one from abuse and neglect. This will help them to lead a happy, fulfilling life in their nursing home.

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