If your parent resides in a nursing home, you may worry about the quality of care (s)he receives there. Unfortunately, your concerns may be well-founded.

NextAvenue.org warns you to watch for the following five red flags that the nursing home could be neglecting or abusing your parent.

1. Injuries

Your parent’s body should never exhibit any of the following signs of possible abuse or neglect:

  • Bruises
  • Ulcers, i.e., bedsores
  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Bumps

2. Loss of mobility

Even though your parent may be elderly or suffering from a condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, etc., (s)he nevertheless should not spend the majority of his or her time in bed. If you notice that (s)he seems to have lost mobility since your last visit, this could indicate that the nursing home has neglected to get him or her up and walking enough, or at least sitting in a wheelchair.

3. Poor hygiene

Your parent’s appearance should always be that of a well-cared-for patient. This includes clean skin, mouth and clothing, combed hair, trimmed fingernails and toenails, lack of body or mouth odor, etc. His or her room, particularly the bathroom, should likewise present a clean, sanitary and non-messy appearance. At the very least, an unkept, disheveled appearance or a dusty room constitute red flags of neglect.

4. Poor nutrition

If your parent complains about receiving insufficient food or water, do not simply attribute these complaints to general grumpiness. Dry, chapped skin or lips and weight loss are both red flags for dehydration and malnutrition.

5. Poor attitude

Should your parent seem unwilling to talk or unusually depressed or agitated, these, too, are abuse and neglect red flags.