Warning Signs of Abuse in South Carolina Nursing Homes

In many cases, it is a family member who alerts authorities to nursing home abuse. Particularly if staff members are causing the abuse, infirm or scared nursing home residents may depend on someone from outside to recognize their need for help.

Anyone who visits a nursing home resident should know the warning signs of abuse and neglect. If you suspect abuse, report it to management. If you are not completely satisfied with the response, you should alert police and contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. If it is an emergency, call 911.

Contact Joye Law Firm for wrongful death lawsuits
To find out how we can help you, call us at 877-936-9707 or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential claim evaluation.

Joye Law Firm investigates potential cases of abuse and neglect at South Carolina nursing homes. We work to hold those responsible for neglect and abuse accountable.

Call Joye Law Firm now or fill out our online contact form for free advice if you suspect nursing home abuse.

Red Flags for Abuse in Nursing Homes and Other Facilities

All types of nursing home abuse have their own warning signs. The first sign not to be overlooked or dismissed is the resident’s report that he or she is being abused.

A second warning sign for many types of nursing home abuse is increased agitation in the presence of certain nursing home staff or residents. If nursing home staff members or management balk at letting you see a resident or will not leave you alone with a resident, this may also be an indication that something is not right.

Other abuse warning signs from the U.S. Administration on Aging include:

Physical Abuse

  • Unexplained or inadequately explained injuries, such as bruises, black eyes, welts, cuts, punctures, broken bones (including skull fractures), sprains, dislocations, and internal injuries or bleeding
  • Physical signs of being subjected to punishment or of being restrained, such as rope marks or burns
  • Broken eyeglasses
  • Sudden changes in behavior, including signs of fear.

Emotional Abuse

  • Being emotionally upset or agitated
  • Being non-communicative or nonresponsive
  • Unexplained or uncharacteristic changes in behavior, such as withdrawal from normal activities or unexplained changes in alertness
  • Unusual behavior usually attributed to dementia, such as sucking, biting and rocking.

Sexual Abuse

  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area
  • Unexplained venereal disease or genital infections
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Torn, stained or bloody underclothing.


  • Dehydration and malnutrition
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Pressure ulcers (bed sores)
  • Unattended or untreated health problems
  • Soiled bedding, fecal or urine smell, inadequate clothing.

Financial Exploitation

  • Unexplained disappearance of money, stock or valuable possessions
  • Abrupt changes in a will or other financial documents
  • Discovery of a nursing home resident’s signature being forged for financial transactions or for the titles of possessions
  • The provision of services that are not necessary.

Speak Out About Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

If you think you recognize any of the warning signs that a nursing home resident is being abused or neglected, you should seek help right away. Alert the nursing home’s administration about your concerns. If it’s a life-threatening situation, call 911.

You should also contact independent legal help if a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse. Joye Law Firm takes abuse complaints seriously. We work to ensure that harmful behavior stops and those responsible are held accountable.

If a nursing home resident has been harmed physically, emotionally or financially by nursing home staff, you may be entitled to recover compensation to make up for losses and the expenses of treating your family member’s injuries.

The attorneys at Joye Law Firm have nearly 250 years of combined experience helping victims of life-changing injuries in South Carolina. Find out how we can help you and your family, too.

Call Joye Law Firm now or fill out our online form for assistance today.


trust is important to us

we want to hear about your case