4 Important Things To Know About Nursing Home Abuse

Seniors experiencing nursing home abuse are increasing in number, most especially in this pandemic. They may manifest signs of physical abuse such as odd bruises and fresh wounds, emotional abuse, and even sexual and financial abuse. Families of seniors in nursing homes and other residential care settings should be aware of the indicative signs of nursing home abuse and other information about this topic to protect their loved ones against ill practices of some staff members in long-term healthcare facilities. 

So, continue reading below to find out more about the important things you need to know about nursing home abuse.

Common Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse

The two most common signs of nursing home abuse are bed sores and broken bones or fracture. According to this blog post, pressure ulcers aren’t a natural effect of aging. Bed sores happen because of neglect, which can be prevented with basic hygiene measures. 

While the elderly population is more prone to fractures due to weakened bones, nursing homes shouldn’t make this as an excuse. They must do all safety measures to keep seniors safe and prevent falls. Otherwise, they neglect their duties. 

Other common signs of nursing home abuse include the following:

  • Dehydration
  • Bed injuries or asphyxiation
  • Non-communicative or emotionally upset 
  • Infections
  • Malnutrition
  • Instances of wandering
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Reluctance to speak in the presence of staff members
  • Unsanitary or unclean conditions
  • Sudden or unusual changes in behavior 
  • Desire to be isolated from others

Types Of Nursing Home Abuse

As mentioned, there are several types of nursing home abuse. If you suspect that your older family member is a victim of abuse, the first thing you have to know is the type of abuse taking place to easily rule out the warning signs and appropriate actions required. 

Here are the different types of nursing home abuse by caregivers:

  • Physical Abuse: Cut up wrists and broken bones requiring emergency treatment are signs of assault. Some caregivers get rough when dealing with elderly people because of not cooperating in routine procedure, which isn’t good.
  • Emotional Abuse: Irritation, agitation, emotionally blunt, and avoidance of communication can be a result of emotional abuse, leading to severe loneliness and depression.
  • Sexual Abuse: An elderly who is suddenly diagnosed with sexually transmitted infection (STI) has a strong probability of experiencing sexual abuse. Warning signs include bruises or bleeding in the private parts because of rape.  
  • Financial Abuse: Unexplained ATM card withdrawals can be a sign of financial abuse.

Nursing Home Abuse Trends

In the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, the curtain is lifted in nursing homes, documenting horrific abuse. According to a trusted source, the Canadian army documented horrific elderly abuse and neglect in Ontario during the pandemic, which also questioned what has happened in the largely unobserved, nursing homes in the USA.

In April 2000, 1,675 troops of the Canadian Armed Forces got dispatched to Quebec and Ontario, hard hit by COVID-19, to conduct humanitarian relief. They discovered the following:

  • The COVID-19 positive senior residents wandered freely, in contact with non-positive patients.  
  • Some patients were not getting three meals a day.
  • Residentswere left for hours in soiled diapers and pads. 
  • A general culture of fear was observed because increased used of supplies cost money.
  • Expired medications dispensed for several weeks
  • Rotten food and pest infestations
  • Staff members wore the same personal protective equipment (PPE) in COVID-19 positive areas and non-positive units

Reasons Cargivers Abuse Seniors

Due to lack of manpower, many nursing homes tend to hire untrained staff members who don’t have a work experience in a nursing home environment. Some haven’t been trained properly in specific policies and SOPs when working in the nursing home. Caregivers tend to lack in-depth understanding of the patient’s rights and on-the-job training and personal and career development.

Also, caregivers tend to be underpaid in many nursing homes, decreasing their morale and motivation. So, many residents become victims of neglect or abuse by staff who don’t feel compelled to go above and beyond, creating a culture of low standards of care.

Individual caregiver issues may cause nursing home abuse such as the following:

  • Stress and burnout 
  • Personal issues such as financial problem or divorce 
  • Poor personal health 
  • Mental illness
  • History of abuse


Nursing home abuse happens for a variety of reasons. It’s crucial to monitor your loved one’s condition in nursing homes to check for red flags.  Knowing the warning signs and types of nursing home abuse will help you bring justice to your elderly family member.