As people get older, their personalities may naturally change. After all, their daily life, circle of friends and many other influences that impact their personality will change as they age. It is also common for people to experience minor depression as a result of sudden changes, such as a move to a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Although these changes can happen normally, it’s still important for you to watch your loved one for changes in how they act or communicate with you after they move into a nursing home. Those changes could be a warning sign that they have had to endure either abuse or neglect in the facility where they currently live.

A new attitude may be telling you something

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, changes in personality can be a warning sign of potential abuse in a nursing home. When someone experiences frequent mistreatment from which they have no opportunity to escape, they may become withdrawn and complacent, hoping to avoid mistreatment by not provoking the ire of their abusers.

Other older adults have the opposite reaction, becoming louder, angrier and more aggressive as a response to mistreatment by caregivers. Your loved one may lash out at you due to misplaced blame or may refuse to speak, worried that things will get worse if they ask for help.

Any significant changes in personality or mood deserve your consideration. However, when in older adults become withdrawn, depressive or angry, you may want to communicate with them and other people in their life in order to determine what has led to those changes. If a loved one has been abused in neglected, it may be wise to find out what legal options you have.