John Price Law Blog

How to Spot Nursing Home Abuse

Tragically, stories of nursing home abuse aren’t as rare as we would like them to be. And in many cases, the abuse occurs for far too long before it is ever discovered. Anyone with a loved one in a nursing home should be aware of the signs of elder abuse and know how to spot nursing home abuse early.

Types of Nursing Home Negligence

Many cases of nursing home abuse can go undetected because we’re not familiar with the types of abuse elders can suffer in nursing homes. While we may often think about physical abuse in nursing homes like beating, force-feeding, and excessive use of restraints, elders can suffer from a variety of other forms of abuse, including:

Emotional/Psychological Abuse
Sexual Abuse
Financial/Material Exploitation
Understanding that elder abuse doesn’t always take the form of physical misconduct is the first step in identifying nursing home abuse in all of its forms.

How to Spot Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Just as there are many types of nursing home abuse, there are a multitude of signs of elder abuse to watch for. The signs of physical abuse may be easier to spot: injuries, bruising, weight loss, dehydration, or unclean clothing or living areas. But there are other indicators of abuse:

Depression, withdrawal, or unwillingness to talk
Anxiety or fearfulness of caregivers
Unusual or unexplained behavior
Difficulty sleeping or eating
Suspicious changes in friend groups or legal and financial arrangements
If you’re unsure about whether someone you know is suffering from nursing home abuse, it may help to use the Elder Abuse Suspicion Index (EASI) to help in identifying abuse. EASI is a list of six questions (five for the elder involved and one for the elder’s doctor), that can aid in spotting possible abuse.

Reports of Abuse

In most cases, the only way to end or prevent nursing home abuse is to report elder abuse immediately. You can report abuse to Adult Protective Services, which has offices nationwide. They offer resources to receive complaints of all kinds of nursing home abuse and nursing home negligence.

Attorney John Price has practiced law since 1985, and his North Charleston firm offers compassionate yet vigorous representation in all types of nursing home negligence claims. If you believe a loved one’s injury or death was caused by a breach of negligent care or abuse by staff members, contact the lawyers of John Price Law Firm, LLC.