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Signs of neglect in a nursing home

by | Jun 2, 2021 | Nursing Home Injuries |

If your loved one lives in a nursing home, you want to be sure they are safe and treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. In some facilities, staff and medical workers neglect residents, leaving them vulnerable to physical, psychological and mental health problems.

Because of this, it can be crucial for family members and other loved ones to be aware of what neglect can look like in a nursing home setting.


Dehydration can signify neglect because it can mean that the individual is not receiving enough fluids. As this article explains, dehydration can be the result of inadequate staffing levels and insufficient supervision.

Some potential signs that your loved one is dehydration include:

  • Dry skin
  • Infrequent urination
  • Low blood pressure
  • Sunken eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Excessive thirst
  • Disorientation

If you notice any of these symptoms when you visit or if your loved one tells you they are experiencing them, notify staff right away. Increasing fluid intake can alleviate the symptoms and protect the individual’s health.


Infections can be a troubling sign that a person is not receiving adequate health care and personal support. More specifically, it can be especially concerning if a person experiences:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Yeast infections
  • Sexually transmitted infections
  • Infections from untreated injuries
  • Sepsis

These infections are typically preventable with proper attention and hygiene, so they can be a sign of neglect if they arise.

Pressure ulcers

Hospital-acquired pressure ulcers (also called bedsores) occur when someone lays or sits in the same position for too long. These sores can be painful, and when they are left untreated, they can cause blisters and tissue death. Muscles and tendons can also be affected when they are serious.

To prevent pressure ulcers in nursing homes, staff should reposition and move patients if they need assistance or are immobile. Thus, this is a common sign that someone is being neglected in a care facility.

These signs of neglect in a nursing home may seem minor or easily explained away. However, the fact is that they can be the first or most visible indication that a person is not receiving proper care and attention. And the sooner loved ones can call out neglect, the easier it can be to protect a vulnerable person from the devasting effects of mistreatment.