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What are signs of nursing home neglect?

On Behalf of | Jul 27, 2020 | Injuries

Neglect or abuse at a nursing home is a breach of trust that families of nursing home residents should not tolerate. Nursing home residents may experience neglect or injury in many different ways. While your relative may never suffer at the hands of a caretaker, you still want to keep a close eye on your loved one to make sure your relative is not suffering from poor or abusive care.

Some signs of neglect or injury may be subtle and hard to spot. Carepathways explains what to look for when checking for signs that a nursing home is harming your relative.

Weight loss

Many nursing home residents need assistance to leave their beds or rooms to go to a common area to eat, or they need food delivered to them in their rooms. If your loved one is losing weight for no apparent reason, it may indicate that the nursing home staff is not giving your relative proper meals and nutrients.


The immobility of many nursing home residents is also why staffers should regularly give resident seniors water. While dehydration may result in obvious physical weakness, there are other ways to tell if your loved one is not receiving enough water, such as dry lips or a dry mouth. Also, a pinch of the forehead may make a crease that is slow to vanish, which is another sign of dehydration.

Pressure sores

Because some elderly people in nursing homes have problems shifting their bodies, they may develop pressure sores, commonly known as bedsores. It is up to nursing home staff to attend their residents so they do not lie in bed for too long, which can result in skin ulcers. Consider checking your relative for any signs of skin breakdown like red spots that might indicate your loved one is not receiving proper attention.

Bruises and cuts

It is not uncommon for seniors to experience injuries, but you want to understand why your relative has gotten hurt. If you notice unexplained bruises on the arm or face of your loved one, it may indicate your relative was not attended to and suffered a fall. Sometimes bruises may result from direct abuse from a caretaker, in which case you may need to take steps to remove your relative from an abusive situation.