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Do You Know How To Spot Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is a growing problem throughout California. As San Diego elder abuse attorneys, we know that many abuse cases in nursing homes simply go unreported. In some cases this is because the resident is too embarrassed or scared to admit what is going on. In other cases, they may not even realize that they are being abused.

Therefore, it is important for friends and family to be able to spot abuse and take action. Below are the most common signs of mental abuse, physical abuse, or neglect.

Mental Abuse

  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Derogatory, humiliating comments by staff
  • Hesitation to talk openly
  • Withdrawal
  • Anxiety

Physical Abuse

  • Bruises
  • Scratches, cuts, or burns
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding, or torn, stained and bloody under clothing
  • Physical restraint not used properly
  • Broken bones
  • Sudden loss of weight


  • Poor hygiene
  • Signs of feces on resident or in bathroom and smell of urine
  • Malnutrition and/or dehydration
  • Bedsores
  • Lack of assistance with eating and drinking
  • Missing money or property
  • Sudden changes in personal and financial affairs
  • Staffing problems

How We Can Help

If you notice that your loved one has any of the warning signs listed above, get in touch with an attorney right away. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit or, in the worst case scenario, a wrongful death lawsuit if the death was due to abuse.

Please intervene as soon as possible if you suspect abuse. Increase your involvement in the resident's care and talk to the nursing home to begin assessing the situation. If it is serious enough, get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible.