As our loved ones age, it can become increasingly difficult for us to provide them with the care they need. For some families, the best course of action is to place their elderly family members in nursing homes, where trained professionals can provide the highest quality of care. However, despite our best intentions, elder abuse and neglect can still occur in these situations. We need to recognize the common signs of these types of mistreatment so that we can protect our aging loved ones and other seniors. The elderly population is incredibly vulnerable, which is why we need to be vigilant about any signs of abuse or neglect. By remaining aware of the top signs, such as changes in behavior, unexplained injuries, and poor hygiene, we can ensure that our elderly relatives receive the care and affection they truly deserve.


1. Bruises and injuries


Bruises, cuts, and other injuries are common signs of physical abuse inflicted on elderly people. Caregivers, family members, or nursing home staff may be responsible for these injuries. Monitor these signs and investigate them to ensure the elderly are not abused or neglected.


2. Changes in personality


If you notice significant changes in the personality of an elderly person, it’s a possible sign of emotional abuse. Additionally, they may become uncommunicative, anxious, fearful, or depressed. Moreover, these changes may result from yelling, threats, or insults from the caregiver or loved ones.


3. Isolation


If you notice that an elder is being isolated from friends and family, it may be a sign of neglect or abuse. Any restriction on social contact attempts to separate the elderly from those they trust. Isolation is often an attempt to control the elderly person and limit their access to help.


4. Financial abuse


Financial abuse is a widespread but little-discussed form of elder abuse. Family members or caregivers may steal money or assets from the elderly, trick them into signing documents such as wills without their knowledge, or re-route their banking and investment accounts to benefit themselves. Be on the lookout for bank statements disappearing from the home, a sudden large drop in the account balance, and unexplained finances.


5. Poor hygiene


If the elderly cannot care for themselves, it’s time for a caregiver or nursing home. Any lack of hygiene on the part of the elder is a sign of neglect. They may appear unkempt or dirty, their clothes may be soiled, and their skin may be dry and scaly. Poor hygiene increases the risk of serious health issues.


6. Malnutrition


Neglect can often lead to malnutrition in elderly people. Sudden weight loss, brittle nails, and dry skin may be indicators of malnutrition. This sign is especially distressing, considering how easily it can be prevented and treated.


7. Bedsores


Long-term immobility can cause bedsores, a painful condition resulting from lack of movement. Bedridden elderly people must be offered frequent position changes and skin checks to prevent bedsores.


8. Dehydration


Dehydration can cause kidney failure and other vital organ dysfunction, leading to premature death. Because of the effects of aging on the body, elderly people require unique care and attention when it comes to hydration. Dehydration can indicate a lack of care.


9. Medical neglect


Medical neglect occurs when caregivers fail to attend to an elder’s medical needs promptly. For instance, they may neglect administering medications or therapy or ignore existing medical conditions. Such neglect can result in severe outcomes, including complications and even death.


10. Fearful behavior


If an elderly person no longer feels safe or comfortable in their environment, they might exhibit fearful behavior. This behavior can include flinching, wincing, or cowering when someone gets too close. Fearfulness often indicates abuse or a sense of threat to the elderly person.


What should I do if I see signs of elder abuse?


If you suspect elder abuse, you should:

  • Report it to the caregiver’s employer and the proper authorities immediately
  • Call the police if the senior is in immediate danger
  • Move your loved one to another facility if you fear for their safety or emotional health
  • Seek Legal Counsel: In cases of severe abuse or neglect, it may be necessary to seek the counsel of an Ohio nursing home abuse lawyer, especially one specializing in elder law. Legal expertise can help protect the abused elder’s rights and potentially pursue compensation and justice.


What are our legal options if my loved one has suffered abuse or neglect?


As we age, we all hope to be treated with dignity and respect, especially in the hands of those responsible for our care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect continue to be prevalent in society, leaving families feeling helpless and betrayed. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, know that you are not alone. The Ohio nursing home abuse lawyers at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault have been fighting for justice on behalf of elderly clients for years, advocating for their rights and helping them obtain the compensation they deserve. Let us assist you in exploring all your options based on the specifics of your case.

Contact us today at 419-843-6663 to schedule a free initial consultation and take the first step towards holding those responsible accountable.