If you have had to make the difficult decision to place your parent in an Alabama nursing home, you likely spend a good deal of time worrying that (s)he is not getting the care (s)he needs and deserves.

Unfortunately, your fears may not be at all unreasonable. NextAvenue.com reports the following as the six red flags that most often indicate that the nursing home could be abusing your parent.

1. Injuries

If your parent ever shows signs of having received an injury, however minor, this should set off warning bells in your head. (S)he should never have cuts, bruises or bumps on any part of his or her body. Nor should (s)he ever have a bedsore. And (s)he absolutely should never have a broken bone.

2. Personal hygiene

Every time you visit, your parent and his or her clothing should always be clean and neat. His or her body and mouth should always smell fresh, not odorous. In addition, his or her fingernails and toenails should always be an appropriate length.

3. Mobility

Even if your parent is feeble or suffers from an illness or condition that makes it hard for him or her to walk, (s)he should not have to lie in bed or sit in a wheelchair for extended periods of time. Such inactivity will make him or her even less able to walk. The caregivers should be giving him or her as much exercise as (s)he can possibly do.

4. Cognition and willingness to converse

Your parent should never appear depressed or despondent when you visit him or her. Admittedly, no one wants to live in a nursing home, but still, your parent should find it a reasonably tolerable, if not pleasurable, experience. If (s)he does not seem to understand your questions or respond to them appropriately, this could indicate that his or her caregivers are, at best, not mentally and emotionally engaging him or her. At worst, it could indicate that they are abusing him or her.

5. Nutrition

It goes without saying that the nursing home should always provide your parent with sufficient food and water to maintain what health (s)he has left. If (s)he seems to be losing weight, or if his or her lips often appear dry and cracked, both of these could indicate abuse on the part of his or her caregivers.

6. Overall living conditions

Not only should your parent always look neat and clean, so should his or her room and especially his or her bathroom. Your should never smell foul or musty odors, nor should you ever observe dirt, dust or mold.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.