Common Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Nursing home neglect is a national epidemic. It is one of the most common forms of elder abuse, affecting an estimated 21% of nursing home residents annually in the United States (though the U.S. Department of Justice notes that the vast majority of cases go unreported).

However, it differs from abuse in the sense that neglect is not necessarily purposeful or malicious whereas abuse comes about from intentional harm. Despite the distinction, neglect is a serious problem that can and should be combated.

Our Greenville nursing home neglect attorney has been fighting elder abuse since 2013. In this post, he describes some of the most common signs of nursing home neglect.

How Can I Spot Nursing Home Neglect?

Nursing home neglect can show up in a variety of ways—it depends on what the patient is suffering from. If you suspect your family member in nursing home care isn’t being treated well, asking them outright is a great place to start. However, in some cases, a patient may be too embarrassed or scared to admit their mistreatment—or they may not even be aware that they are suffering neglect. Below are some signs that nursing home neglect may be happening to someone you care about.

Bed Sores

Bed sores, also known as pressure ulcers, are painful injuries that result from prolonged pressure on the skin from a hard surface such as a bed. Bed sores may also be caused by dehydration or malnutrition. Less serious bed sores may appear as a bruise while severe bed sores may wear away the skin down to the bone. They are a tell-tale sign of neglect because nursing home staff are trained specifically to treat their patients in a manner that will prevent a bed sore from ever forming.


Falls are unfortunately a common occurrence for the elderly—more than one out of four elderly people falls each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), yet less than half seek medical treatment or even inform their doctor. This is one of the reasons people entrust their elderly family members to a nursing home. If your loved one falls while in elder care, it may have been because their caretaker wasn’t watching over them or paying them the proper amount of attention.


Dehydration is another serious sign of nursing home neglect. The elderly are especially susceptible to dehydration and its negative consequences, which include bed sores, weakness, pneumonia, and even death.

Warning signs that your loved one in elder care isn’t getting enough fluids include:

  • Deliriousness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry skin and mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite

How Jordan Law Center Can Help

When you place an elderly family member into the care of a nursing home facility, you trust that they will receive the attention and treatment they need. When they don’t, it is nothing short of a betrayal. We understand the sadness and anger associated with learning your loved one has been mistreated and we are here to help. Our legal team will work with you every step of the way to ensure you and your family members receive the compensation and justice you deserve.

Contact Jordan Law Center for help with your Greenville nursing home neglect case. Free initial consultations are available online and over the phone.

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