Common Types and Warning Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Your elderly loved ones may decide to be in a nursing home primarily because they need a lot of assistance to maintain a quality life. For this reason, nursing home facilities are expected to uphold high standards of operation as stipulated by federal regulations and state laws so they can provide adequate care to all residents.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as studies have shown that a good percentage of nursing homes and caregiving facilities provide poor care and services to their vulnerable residents. As a result, there has been an uptick in the awareness of signs of nursing home neglect at the very facilities that are supposed to be a safe haven for them.

Causes of Neglect in Nursing Homes

Nursing home negligence and abuse don’t just happen by chance or mistake. Instead, we have learned over the years as experienced nursing home negligence lawyers who have represented hundreds of victims that there is always an underlying cause that could have been avoided.

These underlying causes are why we are so vigorous when representing your nursing home abuse and neglect case, as we want all those liable to be held accountable and ensure justice is served to your loved ones. Here are the most common causes of nursing home neglect and abuse:

  • Poor hiring practices
  • Inadequate staffing and overworked workers
  • Lack of sufficient security or adequate monitoring of the facility
  • Inadequate staff training
  • Poor management

The Common Types of Nursing Home Neglect

As per reports by the National Adult Protective Services, nursing home negligence and abuse can take different forms, and the most common ones are:


When nursing homes fail to have a functional system and sufficient staff members to provide adequate care and attention to all residents, it amounts to neglect/abandonment. This is a major concern in many Illinois nursing homes and assisted living facilities, as it greatly diminishes the quality of life for elderly residents. Some of the signs that show nursing home neglect/abandonment are:

  • Bedsores, pressure ulcers, and open wounds
  • Regular unexplained infections
  • Medical neglect and medication errors
  • Sudden and rapid weight loss, which is often due to malnutrition
  • Signs of dehydration such as dry & cracked lips, dry skin, and sunken dull eyes
  • Poor personal hygiene often due to failure in giving residents regular baths, clean clothing, and medical treatment. The tell-tale signs include bad body odor, dirty clothes, and unkempt hair
  • Unsanitary living conditions, including the rooms, common areas, and unmaintained compound

Emotional Neglect and Abuse

Many nursing home residents suffer mental abuse and emotional neglect, but since there are no physical injuries that family members can easily detect. However, this kind of psychological abuse by staff members, which includes insulting, threatening, screaming, limiting social interactions, and taunting the victim, has an immense impact on the mental health of the victim. The common signs of mental/emotional abuse include:

  • Sudden withdrawal, change of behavior, and loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Unexplained anger, anxiety, mood swings, and depression
  • Show of fear or utmost dislike to some caregivers

Why Most Nursing Home Negligence is Underreported

While acts of nursing home abuse and neglect happen every day, most of these cases go unreported. The result has been increasingly poor living conditions for elderly persons in nursing facilities.

According to research by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most victims of nursing home neglect and abuse are too vulnerable, often suffering from physical or mental disabilities like Alzheimer’s disease, and are unable to speak for themselves. Most family members also don’t regularly check on their loved ones or are not keen enough to realize obvious signs of neglect and abuse. And when they do, they never know what to do as they feel helpless or are too ashamed to take legal action.

However, this no longer has to be the case, as the legal rights of your elderly loved ones are protected. Most importantly, with information on the common types and warning signs of nursing home neglect, you can quickly identify and report abuse.

Stand Up For Your Elderly Loved Ones: Contact Us If You See Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Your elderly loved one doesn’t have to suffer in silence when the law protects their rights, and the government is strict about how nursing home staff members can handle residents. Don’t be stranded on what to do when it comes to reporting abuse; our nursing home abuse lawyers in Chicago, Illinois are always ready to listen to you and help you take the right legal steps.

At The Finn Law Firm, we know how frustrating and demeaning it is for an elderly person to be a victim of abuse or neglect. For this reason, our nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys have committed themselves to fighting for the rights and dignity of your loved ones and other residents.

We want to see an end to elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes in Chicago and across the nation. The best way we can help you achieve this is by ensuring that justice is served and that fair financial compensation is provided to your elderly loved ones for their pain and suffering.


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