The most important aspect everyone looks for and expects from a nursing home is that their loved ones are well taken care of and are safe. The unfortunate fact is, many times our confidence and trust of doctors, nurses and staff can be shattered when there is negligence or abuse.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, sometimes you will need to recognize certain warning signs before you can determine abuse or negligence has taken place. Here are the most common acts in a nursing home that can be a signal of abuse or neglect.

Unexpected trips to ER or hospital – It is common for older residents of a nursing home to need routine health care and frequent visits to the doctor. Typically, the family will be knowledgeable of deteriorating conditions; however, it is new ailments or problems that can cause alarm. When this happens, you should get as much information as you can on what happened and why this is happening. If you are not getting sufficient answers or an adequate explanation, you should not rule out neglect or abuse.

Bruising and fractures – Balance, agility and dizziness are common for people of advanced age. These conditions can regularly lead to injuries such as bruises, cuts and even fractures. However, if they seem more common than usual, then abuse should also be investigated.

Bed sores/skin deficiency – Bed sores mean that your loved one is spending too many hours lying down and is not receiving appropriate care often enough.

Not being social – If you notice that your loved one is not interacting with other residence and generally seems more quiet and forlorn than in the past, they may be spending too much time in isolation. Speak to facility managers about your concerns of how your loved one can be more social.

Fear of staff – Does your loved one speak poorly about a staff member or become uncomfortable when certain staff members are in the room. Is there a look of fear in their eyes or a reluctance to engage with the staff member? This can be due to verbal, sexual or physical abuse.

Weight loss – Weight loss is one of the most common and sure signs of neglect in a nursing home. While weight loss can be attributed to certain health conditions or deteriorating health problems, it can also mean depression or an improper change in their medications.

If you see any type of behavioral change for the worse in your loved one at a nursing home, you need to investigate and research the reason for why this is happening. If you suspect there may be neglect or abuse, you should contact an attorney who can assist with determining if the signs you are witnessing may be abuse.