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Is Your Loved One a Victim? How to Spot and Address Nursing Home Abuse

Entrusting our cherished loved ones to nursing homes is a heart-wrenching decision, made with the hope that professionals will cradle them in utmost care and gentle attention. Yet, the agonizing truth is that sometimes, in those very sanctuaries, our loved ones might silently suffer from neglect or abuse. The haunting thought that they might be in pain, and we remain oblivious, is unbearable. How do we recognize the silent cries for help? And when do we know that the heartbreak has evolved into a valid nursing home abuse case?


There are six main signs of nursing home abuse and neglect:

Lack of Personal Hygiene: If the personal hygiene of your resident is poor, it could be a sign that the staff isn’t doing a good job of helping with basic care - which could mean neglect.

Loss of Mobility: If your resident is having a harder time moving around - when they should have more mobility - it’s possible that the staff isn’t properly exercising your loved one. Residents need regular exercise to foster movement; if they don’t get it, their physical health can suffer.

Nutritional Issues: Nutrition is vitally important for a resident. Not giving a senior the proper levels of nutrition - either through deliberate action or carelessness - is a sign of abuse. Your loved one can be greatly harmed if they aren’t getting the nutrition they need, and you can tell if their physical health starts to dramatically suffer.

Unsanitary Living Environment: Nursing homes are expected to keep living conditions clean and sanitary. A dirty living environment is often one of the biggest red flags that something is wrong.

Suspicious Injuries: Injuries happen even under the best of circumstances, but bruises, bumps, cuts, burns, bedsores, and other injuries that have no reasonable explanation are massive warning signs. This goes for any major injury, like a broken bone, a laceration, or a concussion. These could be signs that the nursing home staff isn’t properly supervising the residents.

Psychological Problems: Residents that inexplicably become withdrawn, fearful, agitated, aggressive, depressed, resentful, or reluctant to talk about the nursing home may be victims of abuse and neglect.

How Do You Know if You Have a Case?

The best way to know for sure is to consult with a nursing home abuse attorney. They can tell you if you have a legal course of action. But, in order to help them help you, you need to provide evidence.

Carefully document everything about your loved one’s stay at the nursing home. Talk to other residents and their families about their experience. Document everything your resident tells you, as well as any sign of injury. The more evidence you have, the more likely it is that your attorney can help.


If you suspect nursing home abuse, talk to an attorney. Gather as much evidence as you can about your loved one’s stay at the nursing home.Through perseverance, your story could turn into a viable case.

With offices located throughout Alabama, Tennessee and Florida, Wettermark Keith has an excellent reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury firms in the country. Wettermark Keith’s reach is not only regional, but it also includes a diverse range of practice areas, including nursing home abuse cases. Our firm operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning you pay nothing out of pocket. Any legal fees and associated costs will be collected from your winnings at the conclusion of the case. If your lawyer is not able to obtain a verdict or settlement for your injury, you will not be charged any legal fees for their efforts.

At Wettermark Keith, we believe in taking cases personally. Our purpose is to practice with care and compassion - to tell our clients’ stories and make their voices heard. We do this by building strong relationships based on constant communication and an unwavering dedication to truth and trust. Winning cases isn’t our goal - caring for you is. Winning is just how we show it. It’s more to us, it’s personal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Six main signs can point to nursing home abuse or neglect. These include poor personal hygiene, loss of mobility, nutritional issues, an unsanitary living environment, suspicious injuries, and psychological problems. Look out for deteriorating hygiene, a decline in physical mobility, unexplained weight loss or malnutrition, dirty living conditions, injuries that lack reasonable explanations, and unexplained changes in mood or behavior in your loved one.

The most reliable way to determine if you have a viable nursing home abuse case is to consult with a qualified nursing home abuse attorney. They can assess the evidence and help you decide whether you have a valid legal claim. To support your case, document everything related to your loved one's stay at the nursing home, including interactions with staff, observed injuries, and conversations with other residents or their families. The more evidence you gather, the better your attorney can assist you.

If you have reason to believe your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, it's essential to consult an attorney experienced in this area. Gather as much evidence as possible regarding your loved one's stay at the nursing home, including photographs, medical records, and witness statements. Persevere in documenting your observations and collecting evidence, as it can significantly impact the strength of your case. For expert assistance, consider reaching out to Wettermark Keith, a team of dedicated attorneys who are committed to helping you secure the compensation your loved one deserves.

Your loved one has many rights as a resident of a nursing home. These include the right to be treated with respect and dignity, the right to privacy and personal possessions, the right to be informed about their care plan and treatment, and the right to voice concerns without retaliation. Nursing home residents are also entitled to proper medical care, social engagement, and a safe and clean living environment. If you believe any of these rights have been violated, it's crucial to advocate for your loved one, report the abuse or neglect, and seek legal assistance if necessary.

While some signs like frailty, memory issues, and occasional health problems can be age-related, sudden and unexplained changes in health, frequent infections, or consistent emotional distress may indicate abuse. It's important to communicate regularly with the resident and stay observant of their overall well-being

Yes, both federal and state laws provide protections for nursing home residents. The Nursing Home Reform Act, for instance, ensures residents the right to be free from physical or mental abuse. Each state also has specific regulations and protective measures, so familiarizing yourself with your local laws can be helpful.

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If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.