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The 3 Types of Abuse that Happens in America’s Nursing Homes

by Samreen Sheikh

Nursing home abuse is one of the most tragic occurrences that continues to plague American society. If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home, educating yourself about the types of abuse that happen behind the scenes at some of America’s nursing homes is crucial. Doing so will help you protect them, after all. Three types of abuse tend to happen in America’s nursing homes:


Unfortunately, many more instances of physical abuse happen behind the scenes at American nursing homes than we’d like to believe. When elderly patients are victims of physical abuse, the chances of them sustaining serious, life-long, or even deadly injuries from the abuse are much higher than with younger victims. Due to this, elderly patients’ loved ones must be ever-vigilant about watching out for signs of physical abuse in their loved ones’ nursing homes.

If your loved one has any unexplained injuries while under nursing home care, this is a major red flag. Even when an accident occurs, the nursing home should have a clear protocol in place meant to not only report the accident but to ensure that everyone knows why and how it occurred. If the home is failing to do this, then unexplained injuries become suspicious and should be investigated. In some cases, an investigation will prove that abuse is happening behind the scenes, after all.

Forms of Physical Abuse

There are many different forms of physical abuse that nursing home patients can suffer from. Bedsores and rampant infection are particularly commonplace when nursing home staff members are failing to provide adequate care for bedridden patients. When a nursing home’s environments are not kept clean and hazard-free, slip-and-fall accidents become much more likely (and deadlier as well).

When staff members are being sexually abusive, the chances of unexplained STDs inflicting patients become much more likely. No matter what type of physical abuse your elderly loved one is suffering from, they will need your help to escape the abusive situation.

When you suspect that abuse may be happening behind the scenes at your elderly loved one’s nursing home, you need to act quickly. Having a team of nursing home abuse lawyers by your side during this process is highly recommended. They will know exactly how to confront the nursing home and ensure that justice is served.

If your loved one was indeed a victim of abuse, they will be entitled to financial and legal justice, and a qualified, experienced nursing home abuse lawyer can help you obtain this (and more).


Not all abuse is physical. In reality, many of the abusive actions taken by dubious nursing home staff members fall into the emotional and psychological category. Because the effects and warning signs associated with this type of abuse are often less obvious than those of physical abuse, many ill-meaning staff members feel that they can more easily get away with their crimes.

In most cases, emotional abuse leads to patients becoming socially withdrawn or sees them becoming emotionally erratic. If you suspect abuse is happening behind the scenes, you should find a secluded place to talk to your elderly loved one about potential abuse (that’s far away from potential nursing home spies).

The closer you are to your elderly loved one, and the more they trust you, the more effectively you’ll be able to protect them from emotional and psychological abuse. If they are willing to open up to you and share their stories of abuse, then you will have a greater ability to prevent further abuse from occurring.

The more vigilant you are about watching out for your elderly loved one, the more effectively you can help curb abuse against other patients as well. After all, nursing homes rely on a strong sense of community to function in a healthy, secure manner.


Lastly, financial abuse is much more commonplace in nursing homes than perhaps any other type of abuse. Especially if an elderly patient is dealing with dementia or other health conditions that affect memory and/or judgment, they become a prime target for ill-intentioned nursing home staff members.

If your loved one is suddenly having unexplained financial problems or seems to be giving away exuberant gifts to nursing home staff members, then you should intervene immediately. The quicker you are about inserting yourself into the process, the quicker you can ensure that abuse is not happening.

If abuse is happening, you’ll have the ability to stop it dead in its tracks. When situations become legally complicated, however, you must get a nursing home abuse lawyer involved (to protect yourself and your elderly loved one).


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