“Your Local Injury Lawyers Since 1985”


elderly woman’s bruised hands folded over a blanket on her lap

How To Talk To Your Loved One If You See Signs Of Nursing Home Abuse

By: Fred Moore | May 5, 2020

Trusting others to take good care of an aging or disabled loved one can be daunting. At Moore Law Firm, we’re well acquainted with nursing home abuse signs and how this mistreatment affects victims and their families. Our personal injury attorneys handle all types of nursing home abuse claims, and we’re committed to holding abusers, nursing homes, and personal care facilities accountable for their actions. While it may be challenging to broach the subject, if you notice signs, it’s important to speak to your loved one about nursing home abuse or neglect.

Identifying Nursing Home Abuse Signs

Nursing home abuse takes a heavy toll on the most vulnerable members of our society — the elderly and disabled. Abuse may involve physical, sexual, and emotional violence, neglect, and financial misuse. Sometimes abuse can be so subtle that it can be hard to identify, but there are many signs you can look for to protect your loved one.

Some of the most common nursing home abuse signs are behavioral changes, such as depression, lack of interest in things your loved one used to enjoy, or becoming withdrawn and disinterested in engaging visitors. These changes in behavior can occur over time, so it’s vital to be observant of your loved one’s behavior and emotional state.

Physical signs of nursing home abuse or neglect can take the form of bruises, cuts, scars, broken bones, bedsores, poor personal hygiene, weight loss, and dehydration. Accidents do happen, but if you suspect that someone is being abused or neglected, opening a dialogue about what may be happening could save their life.

Talking To Your Loved One About Nursing Home Abuse

Being reluctant to talk about or claiming not to remember how an injury occurred is common in people who are abused. Your loved one may be embarrassed or afraid to talk about it or may think that they won’t be believed. Nevertheless, it’s important to be straightforward and ask your loved one if they need help.

Ask Questions

A few simple questions that can help get the conversation started include:

  • Is anything wrong?
  • Do you need help with anything that’s happening at your nursing home?
  • I see that you have an injury, bedsores, etc. Can you tell me what happened?
  • I’ve noticed that you seem depressed or withdrawn. Could you tell me why?

If your loved one is reticent about sharing information with you, explain that abuse isn’t their fault and you’re there to help.


It’s important to listen without interrupting or making judgments. Practice compassion and show empathy, but don’t react with strong emotions, such as pity or anger, even if you feel them. Let your loved one know that you’re there for them and you believe them.

Offer Encouragement

Abuse victims often blame themselves. Provide your loved one with information and resources, so they understand that they’re not alone. Make it a point to tell them that nursing home abuse and neglect can happen to anyone, and it can be stopped if it’s reported.

What To Do If Your Loved One Has Been Abused

If you recognize signs of nursing home abuse or neglect, speak with your loved one’s caregivers, physicians, nurses, and their supervisors. You may also report any abuse or neglect to local law enforcement and the Alabama Department of Senior Services. In addition to taking these steps, it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury attorney who is well versed in elder law and can advise you on what to do to protect your loved one’s rights and help them find justice.

Contact An Attorney If You Notice Nursing Home Abuse Signs

If you suspect that a loved one’s injuries or death was caused by nursing home abuse, our compassionate personal injury lawyers at Moore Law Firm can help you hold responsible parties accountable and recover maximum compensation for the damage that has been done. Call 251-445-7602 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.