We all want the best for our aging loved ones. It’s a central part of our humanity. We take care of our own and protect those who can’t protect themselves. When we make the decision to place a loved one into an assisted care facility, we do so to ensure they receive the around-the-clock attention they need. And we assume the facility will provide that care with the dignity and respect our aging loved one deserves. Unfortunately, some facilities fail to deliver on their responsibilities, putting our loved ones at risk.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a real problem in Texas, and spotting it as a visitor can be difficult. Whether the signs are too subtle or your loved one feels threatened and therefore remains silent, nursing home neglect often goes undetected for months, even years. In the worst cases, that neglect or abuse can lead to serious injury and even death.

Here are 4 types of abuse or neglect you should look out for when visiting your aging loved one:

Passive or Active Neglect—Malnourishment, chronic physical and/or psychological health problems, dehydration, bed sores, or simply a lack of personal care

Physical Abuse—Physical trauma, restraint trauma, or repeated injuries (mostly unexplained or inconsistently explained).

Psychological Abuse—Uncertainty, depression, anxiety, as well as behavioral signs such as trembling, cowering, evasiveness, and agitation.

Sexual Abuse—Trauma to the genital area, venereal disease, or indicators common to psychological abuse.

If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s important that you get them out of the situation as quickly as possible. An experienced Texas nursing home abuse attorney can help you make those arrangements, as well as help you understand your loved one’s rights moving forward.

The one thing you don’t want to do is wait to act. Your loved one’s life might depend on what you do next.