NURSING HOME ABUSEPhoenix Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Understand what nursing home abuse looks like and how to take action. Get help now from experienced Phoenix nursing home abuse attorneys. Call 602.387.3000 for a free consultation.

NURSING HOME ABUSENursing Home Abuse: Protecting Our Vulnerable Loved Ones

Nursing homes are a necessary option for many families with elderly or vulnerable loved ones. These facilities promise to provide a safe and caring environment for elderly residents who require specialized care. However, many families have found that care in nursing homes is inadequate and dangerous.

Nursing home abuse and neglect has devastating consequences for those in need of care and attention. In this comprehensive article, we will explore nursing home abuse and neglect, its various forms, how to understand the signs and symptoms, and discuss steps to prevent and address this problem.

Solomon & Relihan: Nationally Ranked Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

What Is Nursing Home Abuse ?
Nursing home abuse refers to the mistreatment, neglect, or harm inflicted upon elderly residents in long-term care facilities. This distressing phenomenon includes various forms of maltreatment, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.

Physical abuse involves intentional or negligent acts resulting in physical harm or pain.

Emotional abuse includes verbal insults, humiliation, or isolation that can cause severe psychological distress.

Nursing home abuse is a grave concern that demands vigilance and proactive measures to protect vulnerable residents and ensure their well-being.

Nursing Home Abuse Statistics

According to the World Health Organization, up to one in six older adults experiences some form of abuse each year, highlighting the urgent need for action.

While nursing home abuse is a global problem, its prevalence in Arizona paints a concerning picture. The Arizona Auditor General found in 2019 that the Arizona Department of Health Services' failure to investigate and resolve long-term care facility complaints put residents at risk. The same entity followed up in 2022, finding that the Department of Health had still failed to implement any of the recommendations from the 2019 report.

Unfortunately, these statistics represent only the reported cases, and many instances of abuse go unreported due to fear, isolation, or cognitive decline. The true scope of nursing home abuse in Arizona is likely significantly higher, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness and implementing effective safeguards for our seniors.

Call Phoenix Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Solomon & Relihan today for a Free Case Evaluation at (602) 387-3000

Understanding Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Nursing home abuse, sadly, is a reality. Recognizing its various forms is crucial to protect our loved ones. Here's a look at some common types of abuse in nursing homes:

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves intentional or negligent acts that result in bodily harm, injury, or pain. This can include failure to provide necessary care or intentional harm, such as: hitting, kicking, slapping, pushing, or using restraints on residents. Such actions can leave visible bruises, fractures, or emotional scars.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse takes a toll on an individual's mental well-being. It can manifest as verbal insults, threats, humiliation, or isolation. Residents who suffer emotional abuse may become withdrawn, anxious, or depressed.


Neglect is a grave form of abuse that involves failing to meet the basic needs of residents. This can include inadequate food, water, nursing, hygiene, and medical care. Neglected residents may suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, or untreated medical conditions.

Beyond these common types, remember that any behavior that undermines a resident's dignity, independence, or safety can be considered abuse or neglect. Vigilance and awareness are crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of our loved ones in nursing homes.

Recognizing the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Identifying nursing home abuse is crucial for putting an end to it. Here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:

Physical Signs

Unexplained Injuries

Bruises, cuts, broken bones or fractures could indicate physical abuse.


These painful wounds, often forming on pressure points, can signal neglect.

Weight Loss and Malnutrition

Sudden weight loss or malnutrition could be due to insufficient or improper food intake or neglectful assistance with feeding.

Poor Personal Hygiene

Untended personal hygiene or an increase difficulty in managing self-care can be signs of abuse or neglect.

Behavioral Changes

Anxiety, fear, or depression

These emotional states may be triggered by abuse or neglect and could manifest in changes in mood or behavior.

Social withdrawal and isolation

A previously social individual withdrawing from interactions could be a sign of discomfort or fear related to abuse.

Aggressive behavior

Uncharacteristic aggression may be a way of expressing distress or seeking help in response to abuse.

Unusual mood swings

Sudden or drastic changes in mood, like unexplained tearfulness or anger, could be indicators of emotional distress.

Fear around specific staff

Notice if your loved one seems nervous or agitated around certain staff members, as this could point to potential abuse by those individuals.

Poor Hygiene and Living Conditions

Dirty and unkempt living spaces

Unsanitary or unclean living conditions could indicate neglect of basic care needs.

Inadequate clothing or bedding

Lack of appropriate clothing or bedding suggests neglectful attention to their comfort and well-being.

Lack of proper medical attention

Untreated medical conditions or inadequate response to health concerns could be signs of neglect.

Unsafe or unsanitary conditions

Hazardous living conditions like faulty equipment, electrical issues, or poor sanitation raise concerns about overall care quality.
Remember, these are just some of the potential signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you notice any of these red flags, don't hesitate to investigate further and take action to protect your loved one.

It's crucial to stay vigilant and communicate openly with your loved ones to ensure their safety and well-being in any care facility.

Call (602) 387-3000 for a free nursing home abuse consultation today

The Impact of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse inflicts far more than immediate harm. Its consequences ripple through physical, emotional, and financial spheres, leaving lasting scars on vulnerable residents and their families.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse involves intentional or negligent acts that result in bodily harm, injury, or pain. This can include failure to provide necessary care or intentional harm such as: hitting, kicking, slapping, pushing, or using restraints on residents. Such actions can leave visible bruises, fractures, or emotional scars.

Psychological Effects

Emotional abuse and neglect cast long shadows on mental well-being. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD can become unwelcome companions, stealing joy and eroding peace of mind. Cognitive decline may accelerate, adding another layer of vulnerability.

Preventing Nursing Home Abuse

Preventing nursing home abuse requires proactive measures from both families and nursing home facilities:

Choosing the Right Facility

Thoroughly research and visit potential nursing homes. Look for facilities with a good reputation, well-trained staff, and a commitment to resident well-being. You can take proactive measures to find the best facility for your loved one’s needs.

Research thoroughly

Utilize online resources like Arizona's complaint database or to see past citations and inspection reports. has also compiled senior care resources and their own abuse and neglect database.

Visit in person

Observe resident interactions with staff, assess the overall atmosphere, and ask detailed questions about care plans and policies.

Seek additional insights

Talk to current residents' families, staff members, and local elder care advocates for their firsthand experiences.

Preventing Nursing Home Abuse

Preventing nursing home abuse requires proactive measures from both families and nursing home facilities:

Regular Visits and Communication

Make frequent visits

Regular presence allows you to monitor your loved one's physical and emotional well-being.

Encourage open communication

Create a safe space for them to voice concerns or anxieties without fear.

Pay attention to changes

Be alert for any physical, behavioral, or mood changes that may indicate potential problems.

Training and Supervision of Staff

Advocate for staff training

Encourage facilities to invest in comprehensive training on abuse prevention, resident rights, and effective communication.

Seek adequate staffing levels

Proper staffing ensures individual attention and timely responses to residents' needs. More than 8 in 10 nursing homes may be understaffed. Less staff usually means worse care.

Support background checks

Advocate for thorough background checks on all staff members to ensure the safety of residents.

Reporting and Documentation

Report any suspicions immediately

Contact facility administrators and relevant authorities promptly if you suspect abuse. If you believe someone is in imminent danger, call 911.

Record your observations

Keep detailed notes of incidents, conversations, and any photographic evidence, if possible.

Maintain clear communication

Document your reports and follow up with all involved parties to ensure proper investigation and action.

Taking Action

If you suspect nursing home abuse, it's essential to take immediate action:

Reporting Suspected Abuse

Contact the facility administration immediately

Clearly state your concerns and request immediate action to ensure your loved one's safety.

Alert relevant authorities

Inform the Arizona Adult Protective Services at 1-877-767-2385 or local law enforcement.

Seek medical attention

If your loved one shows signs of injury or neglect, prioritize receiving medical attention.

Legal Recourse - Call an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Consider seeking legal counsel to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Legal action can help recover damages and prevent further abuse.

Nursing Home Residents can have their rights violated in a number of ways. The following is a partial list of rights that apply to nursing homes receiving federal dollars.

(To discuss if rights were violated, please call Solomon & Relihan at (602) 387-3000.)
Nursing Home Resident Rights:

Free Choice

The right to choose a physician, to be fully informed of medical care and treatment, and to participate in planning care and treatment.


The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal and have prompt efforts made by the facility to resolve them.

Physical/Mental Abuse

The right to be free from physical and mental abuse, punishment, and involuntary seclusion.

Physical/Chemical Restraints

The right to be free from physical and chemical restraints used for the purpose of discipline or convenience and which are not required to treat the resident’s medical condition.


The right to review and get copies of medical records.

Notice of Resident’s Rights

The right to receive, orally and in writing, a list of resident rights.
Nursing home abuse is a distressing issue that demands our attention and action. By understanding the various forms of abuse, recognizing the signs, and taking proactive measures, we can protect our vulnerable loved ones and ensure they receive the care and respect they deserve.

Do you have a loved one in a nursing home and believe she or he is being abused or neglected? Our attorneys are experts and experienced in identifying and seeking justice for nursing home abuse and neglect victims. Call 602.387.3000 for a free case evaluation.

Nursing Home Abuse FAQs

What should I do if I suspect nursing home abuse?

If you suspect nursing home abuse, report it to the facility administrators and appropriate authorities immediately. Call 911 if you believe someone is in imminent danger.

Can I take legal action against a nursing home for abuse or neglect?

Yes, legal action can be taken against nursing homes responsible for abuse and neglect. Consult with an attorney to explore your options.

How can I choose a safe nursing home for my loved one?

Research potential facilities, visit them in person, and inquire about their staff training and commitment to resident well-being.

What are the long-term effects of nursing home abuse and neglect?

Nursing home abuse can result in physical and psychological trauma, leading to chronic health problems and emotional distress. More serious neglect and abuse can, and does, result in death.

How can I ensure my loved one's safety in a nursing home?

Regular visits, open communication, and vigilance in monitoring their well-being are key to ensuring your loved one’s safety in a nursing home.

Call Us for a Free Case Review (602) 387-3000

CONTACT USSolomon & Relihan

Our headquarters is based in Phoenix, AZ, but we serve communities across all of Arizona.

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1951 W. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85015

(602) 387-3000

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