Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C.

January 31, 2024

Long-term care facilities like nursing homes are becoming an increasingly common option with our aging population. The National Institutes of Health states that 4.5% of older adults live in nursing homes. While these facilities are supposed to provide care, the reality is that nursing home abuse and neglect are a serious issue that affects thousands of people every year. 

Abuse of elderly adults can cause severe injuries and long-term mental health issues. The legal team at The Law Offices of Goldfine & Bowles, P.C. is committed to helping victims obtain the compensation they deserve. Below, we discuss some different kinds of abuse and also how to spot it. For more information, call our office today to speak with an attorney.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse 

Nursing home abuse can take a wide variety of forms. Some of the most common include the following:

Physical Abuse

This involves the intentional infliction of physical harm or injury, such as hitting, pushing, or restraining a resident against their will. Physical abuse can leave visible bruises, cuts, or even broken bones.


Neglect in nursing homes involves ignoring the basic needs of residents. This includes a lack of proper nutrition, hydration, personal hygiene, or medical care. Neglected residents lack primary care, which can significantly decline their health and overall quality of life. 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse involves behaviors aimed at causing emotional distress, anxiety, or fear in nursing home residents. This includes:

  • Verbal insults
  • Ridicule
  • Humiliation
  • Isolating patients from social activities and interactions

The emotional scars from such abuse can be long-lasting and impact a resident’s mental and emotional well-being. It violates their right to live in an environment that nurtures their emotional health and dignity.

Sexual Abuse

Though sexual abuse forms a small portion of reported nursing home abuse, it is a grave violation of an individual’s rights. Statistics indicate that elderly women are six times more likely to be sexually abused than men. The abuse involves non-consensual sexual contact forced upon residents. 

Signs of Abuse

It is important to be able to recognize nursing home abuse so as to protect your relatives and avert further abuse. Mostly, these signs range from simple neglect to serious abuse.

Some of the signs include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Signs of restraint
  • Unusual behavior such as rocking behaviors or sucking one’s thumb
  • Facial and dental injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Stained or torn clothes 
  • Fractures
  • Conflict between the elderly and their caregivers
  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained falls
  • Malnutrition
  • Feelings of shame, guilt, and fear
  • Tears, cuts, and lacerations
  • Unexplainable sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

In severe cases, nursing home abuse could even lead to wrongful death. A nursing home abuse lawyer can help hold the abusive staff accountable for the injuries. 

Contact an Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today 

If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you should take appropriate steps to get them out of a dangerous situation and recover damages. An attorney can help bring the liable parties to account. Our experienced Illinois injury lawyers are ready to listen to your case and help get justice for your loved one. Call us today at (309) 673-5144 or complete this form to schedule a free case evaluation.