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Signs of Nursing Home Abuse Easily Overlooked

signs of nursing home abuse

Moving your loved one into a nursing home is a very difficult and stressful decision. You want to ensure that your loved one will be safe, healthy, and protected while at the nursing home. Unfortunately, some nursing homes do not provide residents with the care they deserve. This can often be overlooked because residents may be unable to understand what is happening, unable to understand their injuries, or unable to tell their loved ones about their treatment in the nursing home. In the unfortunate event your loved one does suffer abuse or neglect at a nursing home, it is important to consult with an experienced nursing home attorney who is able to provide you with the guidance and advice that you need. 

Indications of Nursing Home Abuse That Can Be Difficult to Spot

Nursing home abuse or neglect will often be caused by insufficient staff numbers, inadequate training of staff, inadequate policies and procedures of the nursing home, or inadequate supervision of nursing home residents. 

The following is a list of signs that you may see if your loved one is suffering abuse or neglect in a nursing home: 


If a loved one appears disengaged from activities, displays a decreased appetite, or generally seems emotionally detached, these could be signs of depression. It is important to ask the nursing home staff questions about your loved one’s recent activities and behavior if your loved one seems depressed. 

Weight Loss

Another sign of nursing home abuse or neglect could include weight loss, which may indicate that staff members are not providing enough food or water, or that the resident is depressed and refusing to eat. Again, whenever you notice this change in your loved one, you should question the nursing home staff to see what might be causing this weight loss. 

Unsanitary Environment

Nursing home residents are entitled to a healthy and sanitary living environment throughout the nursing home. Elderly residents are already vulnerable and often prone to infection or injury, which is why it is necessary to maintain healthy living conditions at all times. If you notice any unsanitary conditions in your loved one’s room or in any common areas of the nursing home, be sure to ask the nursing home staff about the unclean conditions. 

You may also notice your loved one develop sores on their skin. These are called bedsores and develop when the resident is not being moved or bathed consistently. Bedsores are serious. If you notice a bedsore on your loved one, alert nursing home staff right away. 


Nursing home residents often require multiple medications. It is imperative that nursing home staff give each resident the correct medication and the correct dosage of medication at the proper times. When nursing homes are understaffed or nursing home personnel do not receive proper training, medication errors occur. Medication errors can cause serious injury or even death. If you notice any mental or physical changes in your loved one, ask the nursing home if your loved one is receiving the correct medication. 

Unfortunately, nursing homes may overmedicate residents, especially when the resident is overly emotional or combative. If you notice that your loved one is suddenly emotionally unstable, lethargic, or has decreased cognitive function, your loved one may be experiencing overmedication. Be sure to ask the nursing home if your loved one has been placed on any new medications, what those medications are, and what the purpose of each new medication is. 

If you notice any of these signs in your loved one or have any questions about nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your legal options. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will be able to tell you if you or your loved one has a case against the nursing home and provide you with guidance on what the next steps should be. 

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Consult with a Chicago Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you or a loved one suffered harm or injury as a result of negligence, abuse or neglect at a nursing home, contact the attorneys at Vinkler Law Offices. As experienced nursing home abuse attorneys, we can help you recognize the signs of abuse and neglect and help you hold the nursing home accountable for injuries caused to your loved one. The attorneys at Vinkler Law Offices have the expertise and knowledge to bring justice to you and your family. Contact us today to schedule your free case review and consultation.