When you placed your elderly parent in an assisted living facility, your decision was made out of love. You no longer believed that your loved one was safe living alone, so you found a place where they would be cared for and safe from harm.

That was the plan, at least. So you were utterly shocked to learn that your mother fell and broke her hip after only a few weeks into her stay at the facility. What went wrong?

An unavoidable accident — or negligence?

The fall may have been a one-off accident. Perhaps your mother awoke after midnight and was confused about her surroundings. She forgot where she was and attempted to get out of the bed to use the restroom.

But her foot tangled in the bedsheets and down she went. Staff found her within minutes and immediately began treatment for her broken hip. It could have happened to anyone, anywhere.

But perhaps her injury was more insidious. Despite her doctor having standing orders that your mother is to receive assistance with toileting and bathing, she had an accident in her bed. When no one answered her repeated calls for help, she attempted to get out of bed on her own and clean herself up. But instead, she fell and broke her hip.

Investigate injuries and bruises to the elderly

If your elderly parent is in a facility, they should be well-supervised and prevented from harm. Although anyone can suffer a fall, thoroughly investigate any suspicious bruising or unusual injuries.

Understand, too, that your loved one may not be forthcoming with the truth even when they are being abused or neglected by staff. Sometimes one resident may be subjected to bullying behaviors by their roommate or another resident of the facility. But if they fear even worse repercussions if they report the abuse, they may stay silent.

Advocate for your loved one’s safety

You may be the only one who is willing to speak up for your elderly parent when you suspect that they are being physically abused or financially fleeced. It’s generally better not to go in with guns a-blazing when you make your inquiries, but you may soon discover that it’s time to loop in an elder abuse attorney who can quickly get to the bottom of the problem and seek resolution.