You admitted your aging parent to a nursing home in Tennessee recently. Lately, you noticed changes in your loved one’s behavior. Could it be nursing home abuse or neglect?

Get facts on the matter with insights from the National Council on Aging. Arm yourself with knowledge to protect your mother or father.

The signs

To confirm your suspicions, look for specific and common indications of elder abuse. For instance, abuse victims may have visible pressure marks, bruising, abrasions or broken bones. Indications of neglect include poor hygiene, bedsores, sudden weight loss and neglected medical needs.

Nursing home residents may suffer non-physical abuse. Signs of financial abuse include odd shifts in financial status and mysterious transactions that your loved one does not remember making. Warning signs of emotional abuse range from odd changes in alertness and peculiar withdrawals from activities a person once enjoyed to unexplained depression and constant verbal fights between nursing home residents and caregivers.

The factors

Not all nursing home residents become victims of physical, financial or emotional abuse. Contributing factors include mental impairment, disabilities and isolation.

The affects

Those who suspect their loved ones may experience abuse at a nursing home must take quick action. Left unaddressed, victims have a higher risk of dying because of the abuse. Unchecked financial abuse can drain a victim’s finances. Most financial exploitation goes under-reported.

The prevention methods

Thankfully, you can prevent your aging parent from becoming a victim of abuse. Encourage your loved one to understand her or his legal rights and take care or her or his health. Estate planning helps prevent financial abuse, as does occasionally reviewing one’s will. Staying engaged with friends and family prevents isolation.