Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.

“Abuse” is defined as any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver (or anyone else) that causes harm or risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial.

While one sign does not necessarily indicate abuse, some tell-tale signs that there could be a problem are:

  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns .
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression.
  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area.
  • Sudden changes in financial situation.
  • Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss.
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses.
  • Strained or tense relationships, or frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person.

Many older people who are abused are at the mercy of their caregivers, and therefore may be afraid to speak about their pain or fear. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it’s important to remain alert, watch for changes in personality or behavior, and ask questions privately.

To learn more about elder abuse, the NCEA offers wonderful information. Visit their website at

At HensonFuerst Attorneys, we take our role as advocates for nursing home residents very seriously, and we will work daily to protect their rights. If you suspect that someone you know has been the victim of any mistreatment, please feel free to contact the compassionate attorneys of HensonFuerst. We’re available 24/7 at 1-800-4LAW-MED.

If you have questions, we have answers.

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Raleigh Office

3110 Edwards Mill Rd Suite 100,
Raleigh, NC 27612
P (919) 781-1107
F (919) 781-8048

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2317 Sunset Ave,
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
P (252) 443-2111
F (252) 443-9429

Jacksonville Office

Appointment Only
P (910) 377-7671
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