Signs of nursing home/assisted living abuse

Nursing home abuse can exist as physical abuse and be as extreme as assault and battery or rape, or may consist of forced restraint, either by mechanical or chemical means (such as administration of psycho-pharmaceutical drugs not authorized by a doctor).

Nursing home abuse cases can also be emotional abuse and include insults, humiliation, threats, and attempts to frighten the resident; it can also be a crime of omission, as when the resident is ignored, disregarded or isolated against his or her will.

Neglect can consist of withholding food, water and/or medication as well as failure to change bedding or take care of hygiene needs.

Obvious signs to look for include:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • open wounds, sores or cuts
  • burns and abrasions
  • sudden and unexplained change in weight
  • soiling, poor hygiene, smell of urine or feces
  • infections
  • loss of hair
  • torn, stained, or bloody clothing or bedding

Less obvious signs may consist of:

  • listlessness or unresponsiveness
  • infantile or other strange behaviors
  • physical or emotional withdrawal
  • disappearance of personal items
  • sudden and unusual financial transactions

If you note any of these signs you may have questions on what to do. First you should begin by notifying the facility management. Please remember that just because your loved one is displaying possible signs of abuse doesn’t mean someone directly abused them. It could be one of many signs of nursing home neglect.

More Red Flags

If you arrive at a facility to visit a resident during regular visiting hours and the staff refuses or delays access – or a staff member refuses to leave the room during your visit – these may be signs that they are hiding something. Again, it is important to begin by registering your concerns with the management, but if you are not satisfied, you have the legal rights to file a complaint to the appropriate agency. And of course you can always, and are urged to, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.

A Word on Retaliation


Mike Prieto may be that attorney.  No other law firm in the State of Georgia has obtained more money through settlements and verdicts, including the single largest verdict in Georgia’s history, than Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC.

PMHP Law, LLC represents clients throughout Georgia and the Southeastern United States. To schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm, call us at toll-free at 1-(855) 329-7144 or locally at (404) 618 0082 or visit us online at

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