If you had to make a difficult decision to move a loved one into a nursing home, you probably did so because you knew that you could no longer provide them with the amount of care they need for a safe and healthy future.

Unfortunately, nursing homes don’t always have adequate staff, and residents can go without the care they need. When you visit, watching for signs of neglect or abuse can be a way to protect your loved one from a potentially dangerous situation.

Neither the resident nor the facility should be dirty and unkempt

Situations do arise where a person or a particular space in a facility can wind up very messy, disheveled or dirty right before you arrived. However, if numerous people appear slovenly or unkempt, if you note messiness repeatedly or if there are signs of a general lack of cleanliness in multiple spaces throughout the facility, those could be serious warning signs of inadequate staffing and potential neglect.

Your loved one has bedsores or other unexplained injuries

Pressure ulcers, commonly called bedsores, develop when an individual with compromised mobility doesn’t move enough and the pressure of their body pushing down on to their seat or bed causes wounds to develop. These wounds can become very deep and are a source of infection risk. Proper care would prevent them from developing in most situations.

Bedsores are a red flag, but so are other injuries that don’t have a simple or reasonable explanation. Even if staff claim your loved one hurt themselves because they fell, that could be a sign of neglect, as your loved one should be able to rely on staff to help them if they are at risk for a fall.

Finally, it’s important to listen to what your loved one says about their experience and look into it if they complain about abuse or mistreatment from the people who should be taking care of them.