The Different Types of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes

February 24, 2023 Insights

Nursing Homes

Elderly people often live in nursing homes because they don’t have family nearby to take care of them or they are too ill or infirm to manage their daily lives by themselves. Unfortunately, many older adults in nursing homes suffer from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This article will discuss the various forms of abuse and neglect seen in nursing homes and how to recognize the signs that someone may be a victim of abuse.

Definition of Elder Abuse and Neglect

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes can take many forms, and there are several legal definitions. Abuse is defined as an act of commission or omission by a caregiver that results in harm or injury to a person in their care or creating a risk of harm or injury. It can involve physical, emotional, sexual, financial, or neglect. 

Neglect is defined as the health, safety, or well-being of a person being compromised due to the negligent acts or omissions of those responsible for their care. This can include failing to provide basic necessities such as food or water, failing to provide medical care or supervision, leaving the resident alone for long periods of time, or inappropriate use of physical restraints.

Types of Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes

1. Physical Abuse 

Physical abuse is the intentional use of force that causes physical injury, pain and suffering to an elderly person. Examples of physical abuse include slapping, hitting, punching, pushing, kicking, or restraining elderly persons. Physical abuse may also include denying a person food or medication or depriving them of the right to make their own decisions.

2. Emotional Abuse 

Emotional abuse is any intentional act that causes emotional distress or damage to an elderly person. Examples of emotional abuse include verbal threats and insults, humiliation, shouting, intimidation, isolation, and humiliation. It also includes treating them in an inappropriate or disrespectful manner.

3. Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when someone misuses or takes an elderly person’s money, property, or assets without their permission. Examples of financial abuse include cashing cheques without permission, stealing credit cards, and improperly using a power of attorney.

4. Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is any form of sexual contact that an elderly person does not consent to or is unable to consent to because of age, illness, or disability. Examples of sexual abuse include touching, fondling, kissing, or having any other kind of sexual contact without consent.

5. Neglect

Neglect is the failure to provide an older person with basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, hygiene, or medical care. Examples of neglect include failing to provide adequate nutrition or hydration, denying access to medical care, or failing to respond to an elderly person’s requests for help.

Recognizing the Signs of Abuse and Neglect 

There are several signs that can indicate that an elderly person may be a victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home. These signs include unexplained bruises, scratches, or lacerations, sudden changes in behavior, unexplained weight loss, verbal or physical outbursts, and changes in normal daily activities.


No elderly person should ever have to suffer from abuse or neglect in a nursing home. It’s important to recognize the signs of abuse and neglect and take action to protect vulnerable elderly people from further harm.

If you or a loved one experienced abuse or neglect in a nursing home, contact an elder neglect lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and options. Circeo Law Firm is here to help. Our attorneys are experienced in handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases and are committed to helping you get the justice and compensation you deserve. help you get the best outcome for your case. Contact us today to get started.