According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH), approximately 1.5 million older adults currently reside in nursing homes and one million in assisted living facilities. In part, this is due to the aging of the baby boomer generation. Unfortunately, a growing population in nursing homes also means increased incidences of abuse and neglect. Although family members who place their loved ones in a nursing home expect that they will be treated fairly and kindly, this is not always the case.

The unfortunate fact about nursing home abuse and neglect is that most victims cannot communicate how they have been mistreated. In cases where an elderly loved one cannot advocate for themselves, it’s up to family members and friends to watch for signs of bad care. Here are some warning signs your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home.

Unexplained Physical Injuries

One of the most frequent signs of abuse is the presence of unexplained physical injuries. Nursing home employees who are stressed or overwhelmed may turn on a vulnerable senior and physically harm the patient by hitting, pinching, pushing, or scratching them. The elderly patient may suddenly suffer from broken bones due to a fall when they didn’t have a history of fall risk.

Improper use of controls to prevent a patient from moving around may also be a form of physical abuse. A nursing home resident may experience head or fall injuries as they try to do things independently.

If a loved one has been injured due to an accident or unexplained injury at a nursing home, reach out to these personal injury lawyers in New York as soon as possible. You and your loved one may be eligible for monetary compensation for the suffering caused by an abusive or inattentive nursing home employee.

Poor Personal Hygiene

Most older adults don’t have the physical and mental ability to bathe, dress, or properly groom themselves. They often rely on caregivers and nurses for assistance. However, if nursing home patients are neglected, these basic tasks might not be completed, or the elderly may try to do them independently.

Poor personal hygiene may be a warning sign of an understaffed nursing home or poorly trained caregivers. It can also signify potential abuse, indicating that the aide doesn’t care about the older adult. Be sure to check for signs of body odor, unwashed hair, dirty clothes, and the smell of urine or feces.

Inattentive or Poorly-trained Staff

Nursing home staff members should respond swiftly when a resident activates a call light and not allow any phone calls to go answered. The residents’ safety and well-being should be the number one priority for nursing home employees. Staff who are evasive with questions, refuse to discuss your loved one\\\’s care with you, or are unable to answer questions might be a warning sign that the care in the nursing home is suboptimal.

Dehydration and Malnutrition

Dehydration is another most common and deceptive sign of a neglectful nursing home. If a nursing home doesn’t have enough qualified staff, residents in that facility may not receive all the needed food and drinks to remain nutritionally sound and hydrated. Unfortunately, health issues may arise or worsen when a senior fails to get proper nutrition and hydration. Be sure to question any sudden loss of weight or signs of dehydration.

Visible Emotional Changes

If your loved one in a nursing home shows sudden changes in personality or intense emotions, this may be due to abuse or neglect. Your loved one might suddenly look fearful, embarrassed, or agitated due to physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, including being ignored, bullied, ridiculed, or threatened with punishment. Depressed mood, disrupted sleep, sudden withdrawal from favorite activities, and becoming uncommunicative are signs that something is wrong.


No one should be abused or neglected, especially in a facility that is required to offer elderly safety and care. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you should immediately reach out to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. A skilled attorney can help your elderly loved one harmed in a nursing home take legal action to pursue justice and compensation.