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One of the major concerns of adult children with elderly parents is finding a nursing home where their parents will be safe from harm. Harm could come in many different forms including physical abuse, verbal abuse, neglect or use of non-prescribed medications. Sometimes, an elderly parent may not be able to or feel he or she should complain. In that case, it is up to the family members to determine if the parent is being abused.

A family member should contact a nursing home abuse attorney if he or she suspects abuse. Signs of potential abuse include:

· Open cuts, scratches or other wounds

· Bedsores

· Burns

· Abrasions

· Sudden weight loss or gain

· Infections

· The smell of urine or feces

· Poor hygiene

· Dirty clothing and bedding

· Hair loss

· Personality changes

· Strange behaviors or infantile behaviors

· Missing personal items

· Unusual financial transactions

· Dirty rooms/bathrooms

· Moldy smell in the room or common areas

Before you contact a nursing home abuse attorney, you may want to bring your concerns to the nursing home administration. If you do not notice an immediate change, or you notice a change in the care of your loved one, but others’ loved ones continue having problems, you should contact an attorney.

If you are looking for a nursing home, look for these signs on other residents. Check the common areas for cleanliness, missing tiles, water stains on the ceilings and other signs of facility neglect. If the facility is neglected, the patients could be neglected. Take note of how the staff interacts with the residents. Ask yourself if the residents seem happy to be there and if the residents have plenty of activities to keep them busy.

Source: USA Today, “Tips to pick the best nursing home for a loved one,” Linda A. Johnson, June 1, 2012