Common Signs of Elder Abuse


Putting a loved one in a facility is one of the most complex decisions to make. Because you aren’t there all the time, you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, which leaves room for caretakers to abuse your loved one. Although you hope for the best situation, you should always keep your eyes peeled for these warning signs.


Some of the most common signs of elder abuse are visible injuries like bruises, scrapes, and head injuries. Although sometimes an injury is an accident, you should keep track of all injuries and marks to make sure they are not reoccurring.

However, not all injuries are visible to the human eye. Beyond physical abuse, abuse can be emotional and psychological.

Anxiety And Withdrawl

Other signs to look out for are anxiety and isolation from certain people. Mental anguish and distress can be caused by verbal and non-verbal behavior. If your loved one is experiencing swift changes in moods, withdrawal from normal activities, and lack of eye contact with a caregiver, you should speak with a facility supervisor.

Although most signs are detected amongst an elder, you should also look out for signs from the caregiver. Pay attention to their behavior and keep track of things like demeaning tones, inappropriate language, and keeping their patients isolated from visitors.

Poor Hygiene

Neglect happens when a caretaker fails to fulfill their duties. Unlike physical and emotional abuse, neglect is hard to detect, but there are still signs you should look out for. If your loved one is displaying poor hygiene or delayed medical care, it may be a sign of neglect. You should keep clear communication between you and the caretaker about scheduling medical care and updates on your loved one’s hygiene if it changes.

Unsafe Living Conditions

After putting your loved one in a nursing facility, you should do your best to check on them frequently as living conditions could worsen. Look out for hazards in the facility like lack of up-to-date equipment, dirty conditions, and lack of heating or plumbing.

Like poor hygiene, you should also watch out for bug infestations and soiled bedding as they could lead to severe illnesses like bedsores and bacterial infections. Frequent check-ups can ensure your caregiver provides proper care for your loved one.

Missing Items

Financial abuse is higher amongst senior citizens than any other age group. Before sending your loved one to a nursing facility, make sure all of their finances are handled professionally. Look out for signs of financial abuse like large amounts of money missing, monetary reimbursements in exchange for care, and unexplained transactions.

Also, keep track of all valuables your loved one has. Although things may be misplaced, you should keep a record if items are going missing frequently. If your elder cannot explain unexpected withdrawals or missing items, it may be a sign they are suffering from theft and financial abuse.

Inappropriate Relationships

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere. Unfortunately, because some elder people have physical and mental handicaps, they cannot consent to sexual encounters. When looking out for sexual abuse, look for:

  • Bleeding of the genitals
  • Bruises of the lower body
  • Unexplained STIs

If in the case you suspect your loved one is being sexually abused, report it immediately with a supervisor. You should also contact local authorities to open up an investigation into the situation to make sure this behavior is not repeated.

How We Can Help

Abuse is not excusable and should be dealt with seriously. Our team at DiPasquale Moore is ready to help you hold the responsible individuals accountable. Claims like nursing home abuse can require a heavy investigation, which is why we believe our resources can fit your needs. With over 50 years of combined experience, our team of seasoned attorneys is ready to fight until the end for your claim, no matter complex your situation is.

Give our office a call at (816) 888-7500 or visit our Contact Us page to get started on your consultation.


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