What are some signs of an unsafe nursing home residence?

When an older person struggling with daily tasks relies on nursing home staff, abuse can leave them feeling isolated and anxious.

Understanding the issues surrounding unsafe nursing homes and how to spot them can help you protect your elderly loved ones.


According to the National Institute on Aging, an abused older person may hesitate to talk with other residents or the staff. If people in charge continually yell at or insult residents, your loved one may associate asking for help with verbal abuse.

As you observe them, they could seem quieter than usual and refuse to participate in group activities. This fear can lead to loneliness and depression among older people.

Strange markings

When you visit your loved one, you may notice strange cuts or bruises on their arms or legs. Abusive staff members could kick or scratch older people since they are less likely to harm them back.

If these residents need help with tasks like bathing or feeding themselves, angry staff may take out their aggression in physical ways. You could also see burns or sores on your loved one’s skin in some circumstances.

Unclean areas and rooms

Noticing the amount of dust or dirt in residents’ rooms can help see how well the staff takes care of them. If the staff neglects to give your loved one clean clothes or fails to keep the rooms safe from possible infestations, such as rats or bugs, then they could be abusive.

Understanding an elderly person’s reactions to stress can help you tell if a nursing home is unsafe.


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