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Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys > Blog > Emotional Abuse > Examples of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

Examples of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes


Nursing home residents are dependent on the care of their nurses, doctors, and other staff members in the facility. Depending on the condition of their health, they may not be able to understand if they are not being treated fairly by those entrusted to care for them. Even when residents know that they are not being treated fairly, they may be scared to report it. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 33.4 percent of residents in nursing homes experience emotional abuse. Disabled residents are typically more likely to experience mistreatment. Below, our Tampa emotional abuse attorney explains more.

Common Examples of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes 

Verbal and nonverbal emotional abuse are both real problems in nursing homes that result in anguish and emotional harm to residents. Emotional abuse is extremely harmful and can lead to long-term damage to a person’s mental health. This type of abuse even contributes to the decline of a person’s physical health. Some of the most common types of emotional abuse that occur are as follows:

  • Insulting and ridiculing patients
  • Threatening or intimidating patients
  • Making a patient feel distressed or guilty
  • Shouting or yelling at residents
  • Isolating residents from family members and friends
  • Giving a patient the silent treatment or ignoring them
  • Menacing or terrorizing a resident
  • Preventing residents from participating in social activities
  • Threatening to withhold water or food
  • Intimidating residents

Emotional abuse is the most common form of abuse in nursing home facilities. Some residents are not aware that it is happening, while others may not know how to stop it.

Common Symptoms of Emotional Abuse 

There are many different symptoms a nursing home resident may exhibit when they have been subjected to emotional abuse. At first, these may be difficult to detect but as the abuse continues, it may become clear that something is wrong. The most common symptoms of emotional abuse are as follows:

  • Refusal to speak to or interact with others
  • Depression and withdrawal
  • Agitation
  • Sudden changes in behavior or personality
  • Unusual behavior such as biting, sucking, or rocking
  • Excessive nervousness or fear
  • Lack of insomnia or sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Refusal to take medications or eat
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Increased vulnerability to infection or injury

Risk Factors for Elderly Emotional Abuse

 Generally speaking, the older a nursing home resident is and the more severe their illness, the more likely they are to suffer from emotional abuse. Other important risk factors are as follows:

  • Physical or mental impairments
  • Divorce or separation
  • Race
  • Low income
  • Increased need for assistance with daily tasks

Our Emotional Abuse Attorney in Tampa Can Help Your Loved One

 If your loved one has suffered from emotional abuse, we can help. At Kohn Law, our Tampa emotional abuse attorney can advise on how to get your family member the treatment they need and help you file a claim against the facility so your loved one obtains the full and fair compensation that is justly theirs. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to request a free consultation and to get the information they need.



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