Because many nursing home residents have limited abilities to communicate, identifying potential abuse requires careful monitoring.
Look for the signs of nursing home abuse in your frequent visits to the nursing home or assisted living facility.
Physical abuse
Some of the more commonly observed signs include:

  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual Battery
  • Rape
  • Unreasonable physical restraint
  • Prolonged or continual deprivation of food or water
  • Use of a physical or chemical restraint or psychotropic medication for any purpose not consistent with that authorized by the physician
  • Giving too much medication
  • Not giving needed medication
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Caretaker cannot adequately explain condition
  • Open wounds, cuts, bruises or welts
  • Elder reports of being slapped or mistreated
  • Slapping, pushing, shaking, beating
  • Forcing an older person to stay in a room
Some of the more commonly observed signs include:

  • Physical neglect: disregard for the necessities of daily living
  • Medical neglect: lack of care for existing medical problems
  • Failure to prevent dehydration, malnutrition, and bed sores
  • Failure to assist in personal hygiene, or in the provision of food, clothing, or shelter
  • Unsanitary and unclean conditions
  • Infections
  • Failure to protect from health and safety hazards
  • Poor access to medical services
Verbal / emotional abuse
Creating situations harmful to the resident’s self-esteem.
Possible signs of verbal or emotional abuse may include resident behavior such as:

  • Emotionally upset or agitated
  • Extremely withdrawn and non-communicative
  • Unusual behavior (sucking, biting, rocking)
  • Humiliating, insulting, frightening, threatening or ignoring behavior towards family and friends
  • Wanting to be isolated from other people
Other warning signs
Other signs to look for if you think nursing home abuse or negligence has occurred include the following:

  • Injuries requiring emergency treatment or hospitalization
  • Any incident involving broken bones, especially a fractured hip
  • Any injury or death occurring during or shortly after an episode of wandering (including outside the facility) when the staff is not aware that the resident is missing for some period of time
  • Heavy medication or sedation
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain without physician or family notification and a change in treatment being provided
  • Unexplained or unexpected death of the resident
  • One nursing home resident injures another resident
  • Resident is frequently ill, and the illnesses are not promptly reported to the physician and family
Source: http://www.nursinghomealert.com/