Sad neglected elderly man sitting in nursing home wheelchair looking out window

Neglect & Abandonment

Sometimes the elderly aren’t so much “abused,” but they’re neglected or abandoned. That doesn’t make it any easier to deal with—neglect is often a combination of physical and psychological abuse, leaving elders weak or unwell from poor living conditions, or confused and depressed from the lack of care. While the terms are similar, neglect is not caring for patients as they should be—such as inconsistent while abandonment means the patient is left entirely on their own. They’re both awful, but the latter is slightly worse.

Symptoms of Neglect or Abandonment

Though elders experience both these forms of abuse both physically and psychologically, most signs of elder neglect are quite visible, and you’ll usually notice them before you notice the psychological effects.

Be on the lookout for these signs of neglect or abandonment:

  • Body odor, dirty clothes and unkempt hair
  • Messy, unclean or unsafe living conditions
  • Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
  • Bedsores or skin rashes
  • Missing or broken dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids or walkers
Neglected elderly woman crying talking to loved one


No family wants to face having to put a loved one into a nursing home. However, if it is necessary to take this step, the family deserves to know that the promises of the nursing home to take care of their parents are true.

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