Updated February 15, 2020

What Does Elder Neglect Look Like?

Elder abuse comes in many forms—financial, physical, sexual, and emotional—and each are harrowing in their own way. However, the most common type of elder abuse is something you may not think of right away: neglect.

Neglect is a failure to provide services or fulfill a caretaking obligation, leading to harm, anguish, or illness. This mistreatment can be intentional or unintentional, and the warning signs vary widely based on the type of neglect at play.


What Elder Neglect Can Look Like

Neglect can take many different forms. Be on the lookout for the following types of elder neglect.


A failure to provide social activities and interactions can cause serious harm to an elder. Leaving them alone for long periods of time leads to social isolation, further damaging their emotional health.

Fall Injuries

Elders are generally more susceptible to fall injuries, but nursing homes and professional caregivers should be aware of falls and have protocols in place to prevent them. If your elderly loved one was injured in a fall, it could be a sign of neglect.

Unsanitary or Unhygienic Living Conditions

Caregivers, nursing homes, and other facilities have a responsibility to uphold clean living conditions for the elders in their care. In this case, neglect can look like dirt, bugs, or soiled bedding and clothes.

Dangerous Environmental Hazards

An elder’s environment should be safe—a place to call home. Hazards such as slippery floors, bad lighting, and unsafe furniture can cause elders to fall, while faulty electrical wiring or a lack of hot or running water lead to further issues. Broken equipment like wheelchairs and walkers can also lead to injury.

Malnutrition, Dehydration, and Unexplained Weight Loss

Unfortunately, both malnutrition and dehydration are a reality in some nursing homes and other facilities. Failing to meet the physical hydration and nutrition needs of elders leads to serious consequences. This type of neglect can even lead to death.

Lack of Personal Assistance

Elders in nursing homes often need help for tasks involving personal hygiene. Neglect leads to elders being left dirty and unwashed or without the assistance they need to brush their teeth and stay clean.

Medical Neglect

Medical elder neglect can concern anything from a lack of routine dental care to the withholding of medication. One especially prevalent issue in this category is elders developing bedsores when caregivers neglect to regularly adjust the position and assess the skin of bedridden elders.

Contact a Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorney Today

If you suspect that your elderly loved one is being abused or neglected, contact the Indianapolis Nursing Home and Elder Abuse Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family get the compensation you deserve.

Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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Let WKW put our experience to work for you. Contact us for your free case evaluation.


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