When you send a loved one to live in a nursing home, you might worry that they are being abused by the nursing home staff. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is far too common, but it can sometimes be hard to spot. This is because older people who might have cognitive disorders might not have the ability to tell anyone what is happening to them, or they might be too afraid to.
If your loved one is emotionally abused by nursing home staff, you should make them pay. Nursing home abuse is one of the worst things about the healthcare industry, and you need a skilled, compassionate, and professional lawyer to help you and your loved one get the justice you deserve. Contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer today for a free consultation and case review.
Types of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
There are various types of emotional abuse that nursing home staff will inflict on their patients. Anything that a nursing home caregiver does that causes emotional distress can be considered abuse. Some of the most common types of emotional abuse seen in nursing homes involve:
- Intimidating or threatening a patient
- Insulting, disparaging, or degrading patients
- Blaming patients for things to make the patients feel guilty or stressed
- Screaming at or berating patients
- Ignoring patients’ needs, giving them the “silent treatment,” or “cold shoulder”
- Keeping patients isolated by not allowing them to speak with their friends or family
- Stopping patients from participating in activities with the other patients
- Threatening to withhold, or actually withholding, food, water, or medicine
- “Punishing” the patients by treating them like small children
Unfortunately, sometimes older adults are not able to identify emotional abuse, or if they are, they are not able to articulate their feelings or why they feel distressed. Other times, they may be too afraid to speak up, or, especially for older men, might be too proud to admit that they are depressed or stressed out.
Elder abuse is a criminal offense. However, you can recover civil damages as well to help with the unexpected expenses as a result of the abuse. If your loved one suffers from emotional abuse, you need the help of a highly experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to get the justice they deserve.
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The Signs of Nursing Home Emotional Abuse
You can be on the lookout for several signs of emotional abuse in nursing homes. While some of these signs might be difficult to spot at first, the longer the emotional abuse goes on, the more obvious they will become. However, it is important to remain vigilant and see if you see any of the signs of emotional abuse to make sure that your loved one is well taken care of.
Some signs that a patient is being abused are:
- Appearing withdrawn
- Refusing to speak to other people, including family or friends
- A sudden change in their personality or typical behavior
- Agitation, irritation, or uncharacteristic anger
- Anxiety, nervousness, or fear
- Reverting to unusual childlike behaviors, such as thumb sucking, biting, or rocking
- Loss of appetite
- Outright refusing to eat or take their medicine
- Sudden changes in weight, specifically weight loss
- Being sick far more often than usual
- Suicidal ideation
If you notice that your elderly loved one is suffering any of these symptoms, it is somewhat likely that they are suffering from emotional abuse by the nursing home staff. If this happens, you should consider taking them to a separate mental health professional that might be able to help your loved one explain what happened to them. If you find out that your loved one has been abused, contact a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.
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Why Some Patients Are Abused
It can be hard to imagine why nursing home staff, people who willingly entered a field where they would take care of the elderly, would abuse them in such evil ways. However, there are several reasons why certain nursing home staff might abuse people.
In some cases, older people with extreme health impairments may be neglected by nursing home staff. Other times, this neglect can come from a place of malice. Whatever the reason for the abuse, it is important that you help your loved one get justice for themselves by contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer.
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Emotional abuse in nursing homes is incredibly harmful to a patient’s health and mental state. No person deserves to suffer abuse or neglect. If your loved one was emotionally abused by a nursing home staff member, you need the help of a highly-skilled, compassionate, and experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. Contact us for a free case evaluation today.