Recognize the signs of nursing home abuse

Your parents and grandparents cared for you while you were growing up. Now it is time for you to ensure their safety. If they are in a nursing home, you do not want them abused.

In 2019, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services conducted over 3,000 abuse investigations at care facilities. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, you must protect them. One way to do that is by recognizing the warning signs of abuse.

Watch for the warning signs of elder abuse

You need to know the warning signs. Some are obvious. Others might be difficult to spot.

The signs of abuse include:

  • Your senior might be more argumentative, confused, depressed, less alert or withdrawn. You might notice them rocking, mumbling, sucking or having sleep problems.
  • Watch for unexplained withdrawals from their financial accounts and unusual credit card charges. You might also find forged documents.
  • You should watch for bedsores, poor hygiene or weight loss. There could also missed medicines or medical needs. Their eyeglasses, dentures or hearing aids might be broken.
  • Your loved one might have broken bones, bruises, burns, cuts, sprains or unexplained injuries.
  • Sexual. You might see torn or bloody clothes. You should look for unexplained bruises on their breast, genitals or vagina. They might also have bleeding or bruising around their anus or rectum.
  • Verbal: Are you noticing the caregiver trying to control your loved one? Have you noticed them making demeaning or threatening comments?

Elder abuse is a growing problem

A recent study found that only about one out of every 14 elder abuse cases are reported. The best way to protect your loved ones and prevent nursing home abuse is to know the signs and report suspected abuse.


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