How to Spot Elder and Nursing Home Abuse

We here at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience consider personal injury law to apply to any form of wrongdoing that harms a person. Elder and nursing home abuse is becoming an epidemic across the nation. Expectations for elder care have changed drastically over the years because of generational gaps and inability to meet the loved one’s needs.


Some families are incapable of caring for an older family member due to work schedules, financial burden and care for little ones. Others are unable to provide the extensive care that their loved one needs. As individuals age, certain medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, dementia and even strokes can create challenges in providing the care that is necessary. Most who have loved ones with any of these debilitating conditions often seek assisted living or even full nursing home care because of the resources available that are not found within the family unit.

Choosing an elder care facility does come with its challenges though. Research proves to be a great indicator of how your loved one will be cared for within the facility. Here is a recap of areas to check:

  • Visit the facility during meal times and planned activities, paying special attention to the staff and how they maneuver during high-activity times
  • Research the staff itself – look for credentials proving round-the-clock care with consistent staff or whether it is a high-turnover facility
  • Check reviews – see how families of others react to the facility regarding care, professionalism, handling complaints and more
  • Check the facility’s accreditation – feel free to check into state and city records regarding their facilitation and association in complying with city and state law
  • Plan frequent visits to help make your loved one comfortable as well as stay on top of any changes in their care or medical conditions

shutterstock_162942554Not every experience is ideal. Some care facilities or even family members caring for a loved one can present potential abuse symptoms. Pay attention to any changes in your beloved family member’s physical and emotional state.

Here are some areas of physical concern:

  • Broken bones, bruises or cuts not due to any of patient’s activity or movement
  • Soiled or damaged clothing
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Bruises, torn skin or dried blood around sensitive areas
  • Unexplained infections or conditions from sexual intercourse

Some emotional cues that could be due to elder abuse include:

  • Discontentment when normally social and vibrant
  • Sudden depression and inability to be happy even with family and friends visits
  • Avoidance or incompliance with certain staff members

Changes in a loved one’s financial situation may also be due to elder abuse. Pay close attention to the following in their financial statements:

  • Unexplained and unauthorized charges such as withdrawals and transfers of the loved one’s funds
  • Missing belongings
  • Identity theft

If you believe your beloved family member is a victim of elder abuse, take action to hold the abusive party responsible. Contact a personal injury attorney to discuss your case and pursue an injury claim today!

Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience has served the East Valley for over 50 years. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Mesa will listen to your claim and help you determine whether you have a personal injury case regarding medical malpractice or elder abuse. We understand the stress of caring for your loved ones and ensuring their care meets standards and does not harm them further. We invite you to fill out our online form or give us a call today at 1.800.501.2782.