How To Spot If A Loved One Suffered Physical Abuse In A Care Home

Date Added 14.07.15

Often, when our loved ones go into a care home this is because they have been unable to cope at home with their physical, and mental health needs and they need 24 hour support that a care home can provide.

They go into a care home because it is in their best interests in order to protect them from harm.  It can then be a terrifying thought that when they are in the care home they could be exposed to abuse and hurt by the very people who are meant to be caring for them.

Whilst the majority of care homes, and carers are respectful and supportive of your loved one’s needs, unfortunately, residents in care homes can suffer from abuse.

You should be able to visit a care home at all times, although understandably the care home may be concerned if you are seeking to visit at night when residents are normally asleep. I would advise going at different times and turning up unannounced. This will enable you to see the care home without it being prepared for your visit. I always recommend that relatives, and friends, of residents in care homes visit at different times of the day so they can see how a loved one is cared for by different carers.

It can be very difficult for anyone to tell a friend or relative that they have been abused and this can be even more of a problem for residents in care homes who may have difficulties communicating, be very disturbed by the abuse, or threatened by the abuser that they will suffer even more abuse if they tell anyone about it.

Below may be some things that you may want to think about when visiting your loved one, in a care home environment, that may trigger suspicion that your loved one may be suffering from abuse.

  • How do the staff speak to residents? Are they kind and respectful? If a resident is frightened or worried about something do they speak to them gently to reassure them? Sometimes residents can be reluctant to eat, are staff supportive and persuasive in encouraging them to eat or trying to find out if there is a problem that is making it uncomfortable or painful for them to eat? If you hear staff being rude or abusive to any resident then they are likely to be just like that with your loved one. If your loved one says something that makes you think they may be being abused listen carefully to what they say and take their concerns seriously.
  • How does your loved one look? Have they suffered any bruises or burns which are not adequately explained? Are you being informed every time they are injured? If they have suffered any broken bones have the circumstances of their injury been fully explained to your satisfaction. These are all signs that your loved one may have suffered from physical abuse.
  • Have you noticed when you visit that your loved one avoids looking at a particular carer? Do they appear fearful when a particular carer comes near them? Do you notice them arguing with the carer? Have you noticed that their personality has changed and they are more fearful and distressed? All of these could be signs something is seriously wrong and your loved one could be suffering from abuse.


If you think that your loved one has been abused in their care home, call one of our Specialists and, we will be happy to discuss and offer advice to you. We can also discuss a potential claim with you. If we believe your claim has reasonable prospects of success we will be able to act for you on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis.

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