If you have an elderly parent or family member who is not capable of living alone, you may need to make the decision to place him or her in a Virginia nursing home or long-term care facility. While this decision may be emotionally difficult, it may be necessary if you do not have the means or expertise to care for your family member in your own home. Even after the move, you may continue to care for your loved one by ensuring he or she is healthy and safe in the nursing home. While many facilities provide high-quality care, abuse at the hands of a resident or caregiver is an unfortunate possibility.

The National Institute on Aging provides statistics and information to help reduce the instances of elder abuse. According to the NIA, about 10% of adults over 60 years old face some sort of abuse, financial exploitation or neglect. If your family member is in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is essential to watch for signs of abuse or neglect so that you may intervene if necessary.

There are several common signs of neglect and abuse you may look for. If you notice your loved one is having trouble sleeping or acting withdrawn, it could be a sign of abuse. Other common warning signs include unexplained scratches, bruises, abrasions or bedsores. You may also notice that your family member is losing weight, feeling depressed or acting violently. Poor hygiene or repetitive behavior, such as rocking back and forth, may indicate trauma or neglect. If you notice any of these signs or suspect abuse, you should report it to the police and government protective services agencies.

This information on elder abuse is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.