Abusive crime against elderly ‘all too common’

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jul 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-19 18:25:21-04

(WTVR)--Police say 58-year-old Valerie Draughn faces a crime that is becoming all too common.

"It is one of those alarming things just like any crime,” said Lt. Linda Toney with the Henrico police.

Draughn was arrested and charged with abuse, neglect, and assault on an 85 –year-old woman.

According to police, Draughn cared for the elderly woman here in the 4800 block of Charles City Road in Eastern Henrico.

"Family members found several bruises on her arms and hands,” said Lt. Toney. “And they were bruising that they could not explain that would happen from everyday occurrences.”

Lt. Toney would not go into details about the case or say how the victim was incapacitated.

She did say, however, that the victim's family had no relationship with Draughn, but hired her to take of their elderly loved one.

We reached out to Draughn at her South Richmond home for comment.

A man answered the door telling us that Draughn said no comment.

We wanted to know what steps you should take before hiring a caregiver.

"If there's an agency involved, you want to see their license and no matter where you are looking, you want to see references,” said Gail Nardi Director, Adult Protective Services of the Virginia Department Of Aging and Rehabilative Services. “And if someone can't or won't give you a reference, move on."

Nardi also says it's imperative that the caregiver has the required training and experience to do the job.

"Caregiving is a terrible and stressful enterprise and it takes a special kind of person,” she said.

Experts say more than 60 percent of elder abuse cases happen in private homes. And they say if you notice something unusual or not right with your loved one ,report it to police right away.

Draughn faces two misdemeanor charges and is scheduled to appear in Henrico's General District court on September 11 at 1:30 p.m.