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Tampa Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys > Blog > Emotional Abuse > Understanding Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

Understanding Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes


When people think of nursing home abuse, they often think of physical abuse such as hitting or pushing residents. However, emotional abuse is actually one of the most pervasive and common problems in long-term care facilities. Like other types of abuse, emotional abuse is often not reported by residents and it is also the most difficult to identify. The scars this type of abuse causes are psychological and not physical. Staff members and even family members may not know that it is happening if they do not witness it for themselves.

Unlike financial exploitation and sexual abuse, emotional abuse is not criminal in nature. Still, if your loved one has been harmed you can file a civil claim for financial compensation. Below, our Tampa emotional abuse attorney explains this type of harm further.

What is Emotional Abuse? 

Emotional abuse is often verbal, but it can be non-verbal, as well. Emotional abuse occurs when someone behaves in a manner that causes suffering and emotional pain to the victim. Victims of emotional abuse can suffer from nervousness, agitation, sadness, and fear. Like other forms of abuse, emotional abuse is often intentional. On the other hand, when a nursing home staff member is overly stressed, they may unintentionally lash out or harm a resident.

Even when emotional abuse is unintentional, it is still also inexcusable. Some forms of emotional abuse are as follows:

  • Threatening residents or pretending to harm them
  • Shouting, yelling, and screaming
  • Insulting, name-calling, or ridiculing residents
  • Intimidation
  • Humiliating residents in front of other residents
  • Causing the patient to feel upset or guilty
  • Blaming and scapegoating residents
  • Withdrawing affection and companionship
  • Giving residents the silent treatment

Long-Term Effects of Nursing Home Abuse

 The physical wounds caused by abuse can typically heal over time. The effects of emotional abuse, though, are far-reaching and can stay with residents for many years. Emotional abuse also does not have to be ongoing in order to cause harm. Even an isolated incident can result in serious physical and mental health issues.

The trauma caused by emotional abuse can result in them experiencing depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Emotional abuse is also linked to early wrongful death, as victims sometimes cannot move past it and it takes a toll on their mental health. Elder abuse can also leave family members of the resident traumatized and with overwhelming feelings of guilt.

Lastly, emotional abuse can also result in unexpected medical bills. A resident may need long-term therapy to try and improve their mental health. This can also result in residents suffering serious financial harm as the result of the emotional abuse.

Our Emotional Abuse Attorney in Tampa Can Help Your Family 

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of emotional abuse, you need sound legal advice. At Kohn Law, our Tampa emotional abuse attorney can provide it and help your family claim the full and fair financial compensation they deserve. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.



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