Elder Law 101: 6 Common Signs of Abuse in Nursing Homes

October 7, 2022 Insights

man reading a book with elder

Everyone knows that the elderly population consists of people aged 60 and above. For this reason, they’re given the utmost care, especially if they live in retirement homes or elderly care facilities. All their needs, such as food, beds, and medicine, are provided for those who live in these communities. Perfect as they may seem, however, these communities aren’t safe for them because of elder abuse.

It may seem preposterous, but elder abuse is a real thing. Because elderly people are frail and too weak to fight back, they’re often taken advantage of by the people who are supposed to care for them. Unfortunately, this problem isn’t often discussed because the victims are too ashamed or scared to speak up. It’s also worth noting that the law defines several types of elder abuse, including:

#1 – Failure to Supervise

One of the most common types of elder abuse is failure to supervise. The elderly are prone to falling, so their caregivers must ensure they’re supervised at all times. This is especially true for those already with Alzheimer’s and dementia because they’re more likely to wander off.

Periodic repositioning falls under this too. Since elderly people are too weak to move independently, they may require help. The patient may suffer from body pain and bedsores if this isn’t done.

#2 – Hygiene Neglect

Hygiene neglect occurs when caregivers fail to help elderly people with personal hygiene, such as bathing, brushing their teeth, and using the restroom. This can lead to serious health problems like skin infections, sepsis, and pneumonia.

#3 – Nutritional Neglect

Nutritional neglect is when caregivers fail to provide elderly people with adequate nutrition, such as not providing them with enough food or not providing them nutritious food. If left unchecked, this can lead to serious health problems, such as malnutrition, dehydration, and pressure sores.

#4 – Medical Neglect

Medical neglect is when caregivers fail to provide elderly people with adequate medical care, such as not giving their prescribed medications or not taking them to see their doctor for regular checkups. Not providing them with necessary medical supplies also fall under this category. This is a serious crime because the elderly’s life is on the line.

#5 – Emotional Neglect

Emotional neglect is mainly based on a caregiver’s companionship, and it’s when they fail to provide elderly people with it. This occurs in impatience, not listening to them, or not spending enough time with them. This is a serious crime because the elderly’s mental health is on the line.

#6 – Social Neglect

Social neglect is also based on companionship, but this concerns an elderly patient’s interactions with fellow elderly patients in the community. Most facilities have a common room where they can socialize, so caregivers must bring them. Again, the patient’s mental health is on the line.

Proving Caregiver Negligence

You can observe the caregiver’s behavior if you think your loved one is being neglected. You can also ask your elderly patient about their condition and the care they receive. If they have bruises or cuts that they can’t explain, then you can make a report to the authorities.

You can also ask the facility about the caregiver’s shift and take a peek to see if their behavior changes. You can file a lawsuit if the caregiver is rude or impatient with your loved one.

Of course, you should also hire an attorney to prove that the caregiver was negligent in their duties. Many attorneys specialize in elder law, so you should take the time to find one. It may take too long, but your efforts will pay off because your loved ones can get the compensation they deserve.


The thought of elder abuse is daunting, but it happens. Unfortunate as it may be, all you can do is be vigilant and take the necessary steps to prevent it. Putting an abusive caretaker away makes the community safer because no one else has to suffer.

If you’re looking for an elder neglect lawyer, Circeo Law Firm can help you! We understand that people’s lives should never be taken for granted, so we’re here to ensure you get the justice you deserve. Simply go to our website to schedule a free, confidential consultation!