Residents in nursing homes settings are especially vulnerable to physical abuse. Tragically, reports of deliberate physical abuse, such as hitting, slapping, biting and attacks by other residents and even staff members are all too common. Unbelievably, nursing home residents are also victims of sexual assault in nursing homes.

The physical abuse of a nursing home resident can take on many forms, including beatings, biting, food or water deprivation, the inappropriate use of restraints, as well as over-medicating patients to keep them quiet, docile and easier to control.

In some instances, physical abuse may manifest itself obviously in bruises, broken bones or cuts. Other times, the physical abuse may not be as obvious, but the resident may become fearful of a certain employee or become more reclusive. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of physical abuse do not hesitate to call the police, call the state agency responsible for monitoring nursing homes and, if necessary, remove the resident from the facility. Call our St. Louis nursing home abuse lawyer today for a consultation if you suspect abuse.

Protecting Your Loved Ones from Physical Abuse

While no nursing home or their related corporate entities would condone the physical assault of one of their residents, they are not beyond ignoring or even covering up an abusive episode. To protect your loved one, you have to be both proactive and reactive.


  • As many family members as possible should visit at different times. If there is only one person that can visit, those visits should be staggered at different times. Don’t be predictable.
  • Don’t be afraid to “barge in” to your loved one’s room.
  • Know by name all employees with access to your loved one.
  • Watch for evidence of other residents who may be potentially violent.
  • Talk to the facility administrator about whether proper criminal background checks were accomplished on all staff members.


  • Regularly check your family member for unexplained bruises.
  • Report all bruises and get documented explanations for each.
  • If possible, talk with your loved one about bruises and concerns.
  • Discuss all concerns with facility management, request changes, and follow up to insure changes are implemented.

Attorney David Terry has successfully represented victims of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Missouri including victims of physical abuse. If your family member or loved one has been physically abused while under the care of a nursing home, contact the Terry Law Firm (314) 593-2438 to discuss their injuries and legal rights. The call is free and there is no obligation.

Call (314) 878-9797 to request a free consultation!