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What Is Considered Nursing Home Abuse?

by Jamie Nichols

Do you have a loved one that is living at a nursing home, and you feel like they are being abused when you are not there? If so, it will help to know what is actually considered nursing home abuse so that you can take action if you see any evidence of it. 

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is what people typically think of when they picture nursing home abuse. This is when a resident of a nursing home is physically harmed in some way. Someone may have bruises on their arms from being restrained or have been physically hit or pushed by a caretaker in a way that caused an injury. That's why you want to look for signs of physical abuse and document it immediately, since this can be the evidence that you need to take a nursing home abuse lawsuit to court.

Sexual Abuse

It's also possible that someone can be a victim of sexual abuse. This typically means that the resident is a victim of non-consensual contact with a caretaker. However, there can also be incidents where someone is forced to be nude or photographed by a caretaker as well. Sexual abuse is not always easy to document, especially in situations where non-consensual contact occurred, so you will need to rely on the word of your loved one about what is happening.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is when a caretaker is causing someone to feel emotional pain due to how they are treated. This can be as simple as verbal abuse where someone is yelled at and can extend to threatening a resident with physical abuse. It can also be hard to document emotional abuse, so you want to look for signs in your loved one that they are unwell. They may fear being around a certain caretaker or act in such a way to indicate high anxiety and depression.


Caretakers at the nursing home may be purposefully or unintentionally neglecting a resident in different ways. It can range from not turning someone in their bed, resulting in bedsores, but it can also include not giving someone the nourishment that they need during the day. Neglect can also extend to not providing a resident with adequate hygiene to stay clean. 

Financial Abuse

You also need to be aware of potential financial abuse that someone can be a victim of while they are in a nursing home. While it can be as simple as stealing from a resident, it can go as far as forcing someone to sign a financial document that they do not agree to.

For more information, contact a local law firm, like Williams & Swee.