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10 Signs of Emotional Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

Of all forms of elder abuse in nursing homes, psychological and emotional abuse seem to be the most pervasive and common problems. Emotional abuse also seems to be the hardest to track and frequently goes unreported. Therefore, experts aren’t sure how many people actually suffer from it and how frequently it’s experienced.

Over 1.5 million individuals today live in nursing homes in the U.S. Nursing homes are put in place to help care for disabled and elderly individuals and offer them a healthy and safe environment. There are many Federal and State laws in place to protect residents of nursing homes from neglect and abuse. Unfortunately, accusations of neglect and abuse in nursing homes are becoming more common. If you believe you have a loved one in a nursing home who is suffering from neglect or abuse, you may want to call a New York nursing home abuse attorney.

What Is Emotional Abuse of Nursing Home Residents?

Psychological or emotional abuse is when an individual inflicts emotional trauma onto another individual through non-physical means. Emotional abuse can be non-verbal or verbal and uses control and power to intimidate, scare, or isolate a victim.

The perpetrator can be a volunteer, a member of the staff, or another resident of the nursing home. Or, it can be anyone else providing the resident care. The abuse can be verbal or nonverbal, and the perpetrator can be a staff member, volunteer, another nursing home resident, or anyone else giving care to the resident.

Nursing home caretakers have a powerful position in the relationship with the residents of the nursing home. Residents of nursing homes are totally reliant on the members of the staff for their basic needs such as water, food, medication, and the ability to stay healthy and clean.

10 Signs of Emotional Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

The signs of emotional or psychological abuse are generally psychological, therefore, you’ll need to be extremely vigilant when you observe any changes in the emotional state of your loved one. In some cases, these signs are caused by different circumstances in your loved one’s life, such as new psychological or physical limitations, illness, or adjustments to nursing home living. This can make it more challenging to identify abuse. Some signs that your loved one may be emotionally abused include:

  • They avoid eye contact when they talk to you or others
  • They have low self-esteem
  • They frequently seem scared, hopeless, or disturbed in general
  • They don’t speak openly because they’re scared of nursing home staff members finding out about the abuse
  • They exhibit a desire to hurt another person or themselves
  • They seem shy, withdrawn, depressed, or anxious, which doesn’t seem like their normal personality traits
  • They have sudden changes in mood, which wasn’t something they’ve experienced before
  • They experience sudden changes in their eating or sleeping
  • They aren’t allowed to do the daily activities they enjoy or join in social interactions
  • They aren’t allowed to make their own decisions even when mentally able to do so

Family members or caregivers who observe any emotional abuse signs in their loved ones staying in a nursing home should contact a New York nursing home abuse attorney immediately. Your loved one may not have the ability to stand up for themselves in order to stop the emotional or psychological abuse they’re going through and to seek the compensation they’re entitled to for their damages.

Types of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

Some types of emotional or psychological abuse in nursing homes may include:

  • Shaming the resident either in front of the other residents or in private
  • Yelling at the resident
  • Blaming or accusing the resident
  • Insulting or mocking the resident for any reason
  • Trivializing the resident’s concerns or ignoring their requests
  • Demeaning the resident by talking about them to the staff or other residents
  • Isolating the resident from social activities with other residents or from their family
  • Threatening the resident with either sexual or physical abuse
  • Moving the resident’s necessary possessions, such as their wheelchair, walker, or cane, making it hard for them to get around the nursing home

These are only some examples of a whole number of ways that staff members of nursing homes can psychologically or emotionally abuse your elderly loved one. There are many other ways your loved one could potentially suffer from psychological or emotional abuse. It’s important that you’re always looking for a change in behavior that’s not normal for your loved one which could potentially be a sign of emotional abuse.

Preventing Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

It can be challenging to prevent emotional or psychological abuse if your loved one is a resident in a nursing home. If you suspect there is emotional abuse going on, you should immediately remove your loved one from the nursing home facility and move them to a safer environment.

If you’re caring for an elderly individual, you need to always be careful and mindful to not inflict psychological or emotional abuse. Pay attention to them and the way they’re reacting and feeling about the care you’re providing them. Be mindful of your own stress levels and emotions, and don’t let any personal feelings affect the way you treat an elderly resident.

Contact Our New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Dalli & Marino Today

Our New York nursing home abuse lawyers at Dalli & Marino, LLP, are experienced in the areas of nursing home neglect and abuse, medical malpractice, and nursing home laws. We represent any victim of medical malpractice, neglect, abuse, or other serious injuries.

If you are a victim or you have a loved one who is a victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, immediately contact our New York nursing home abuse lawyer at Dalli & Marino, LLP. We will get right to work to ensure the safety of yourself or your loved one and discuss potential compensation for any injuries or damages. Call our office today at (888) 465-8790 or fill out our contact form on our website to speak with our experienced nursing home abuse lawyer today. We also speak Spanish.


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