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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect to Watch Out for When Visiting Your Loved One


As our loved ones get older, it is common for them to require additional care that we are not able to provide ourselves. When this becomes the case, seeking additional help through a nursing home can be the best option.

As much as we would hope that these homes would provide the support and care needed, that is not always the case. There have been numerous cases of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment in these facilities.

It is essential that we become aware of the signs that our loved ones may be encountering and how we can help. If you suspect that your loved one is abused or neglected in a nursing home, our attorneys at Emerald Law Group can help. Reach out to our Seattle nursing home injury lawyers to discuss your case and hold the facility accountable.

Signs of Abuse & Neglect in Nursing Homes

When visiting your loved one, it is essential to keep an eye on the following signs that may indicate abuse or neglect.


Look for bandages that appear to have been applied inconsistently or too tightly. If there is no related medical reason for the bandage, this could signify something else happening behind the scenes. Additionally, check to see if bandages are often present, as frequent cuts and wounds for no apparent reason could be a sign of abuse.


Bruising is a significant red flag, especially if it appears in various colors or sizes. Many seniors are prone to tripping or falling, but if the bruises appear in clusters, this could be a sign of mistreatment. Additionally, bruises appearing in areas where they should not be, such as near the genitals or cheeks, should raise alarm bells.

Torn or Stained Clothing or Bedding

Stained or torn clothing and bedding do not generally occur from regular wear and tear. If your family member’s items look torn or stained, it could be a sign of neglect or abuse if there is blood. Since seniors can often struggle with incontinence, this can lead to skin irritation and infections if left untreated.

Hair Loss

While hair loss can be natural with aging, excessive hair loss could signify something more serious. A lack of proper nutrition or stress can cause this, and it is essential to keep an eye on it alongside the other signs mentioned above.

Bed Sores

Bed sores appear when a person remains in one position for too long without adequate cushioning. This can lead to open wounds and even infection. If your loved one is bedridden, be sure to ask about how often they are repositioned or if they have a special cushion to avoid bedsores.

Open Wounds

Open wounds are a cause for concern, as they can worsen and lead to severe medical issues. It is crucial to ensure that any existing wounds are being treated and that the nursing home staff is taking steps to prevent new ones from forming.

Broken Personal Items (Glasses, Hearing Aids, etc.)

Broken personal items like glasses or hearing aids could point to aggressive or rough behavior from caregivers. These items are delicate and can easily break if they’re not handled with the proper care. A pattern of this happening should not be ignored.

Malnutrition and Dehydration

Lastly, malnutrition and dehydration are serious issues that can lead to a host of health concerns, including organ failure and even death. Ask about the meal plans and ensure your loved one is receiving adequate nutrition and hydration. A report cited by The Commonwealth Fund revealed that an estimated between 35 and 85 percent of residents in nursing homes are malnourished.

Seek Help from a Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

If you have noticed any of the above-mentioned red flags, you might need to get help from a lawyer to investigate the issue. It is crucial to err on the side of caution when it comes to your family’s well-being. Emerald Law Group can assist you in investigating the matter and ensuring your loved one’s safety. Schedule a free case review by calling 206-826-5160.


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