Elder abuse is more prevalent than most of us want to believe. According to the non-profit resource Helpguide.com, tens of thousands of elderly individuals are abused in America each year. A substantial number of those abuses occur in nursing homes.

Knowing the warning signs of nursing home abuse and nursing home negligence can help keep your loved one safe. To be prepared, watch out for these red flags:

Warning Sign #5. Your loved one is often heavily medicated or sedated. Watch for bed sores and signs of malnutrition and/or dehydration, all of which could be signs that your loved one is spending a significant amount of time in bed or asleep.

Warning Sign #4. Your loved one has experienced significant weight changes, without a change in treatment, and the physician and/or family has not been notified. Weight changes could be a sign of malnutrition, negligence, or depression.

Warning Sign #3. Your loved one’s personality seems to have shifted unexpectedly, without a change in treatment or a progression of disease, or your loved one shows unusual mood disturbances, such as agitation, fear, aggression, depression, social isolation, or emotional withdrawal.

Warning Sign #2. Your loved one sustains an injury or injuries that requires emergency treatment or hospitalization. Be especially vigilant if the injury involves broken bones or fractures, or if the injury was sustained while your loved one was wandering outside of the facility. Nursing home negligence may be present if the staff cannot provide a reasonable explanation for how the injury was sustained.

Warning Sign #1. Unexpected and/or unexplained death of your loved one.

Remember: If your loved one has been maltreated or suffered nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect, the nursing home could be held liable for its negligence or the negligence of its staff.

If you believe that your loved one has been or may be the victim of nursing home abuse, contact our qualified Maryland nursing home negligence attorneys for a free case evaluation.

To learn more about elder abuse and/or nursing home abuse, visit Helpguide.com here.