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

Understanding Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes


Of all the many different types of abuse that occurs in nursing homes, emotional abuse is perhaps the most common. While emotional abuse does not leave the same physical marks and scars as other types of abuse, it does just as much damage. Nursing home residents may not understand that this type of abuse is occurring, or they may be too embarrassed or ashamed to come forward and report it. For this reason, it is critical that family members know what to look for, and how to put a stop to it. Our Tampa emotional abuse attorney explains more below.

What is Emotional Abuse? 

Emotional abuse, also sometimes referred to as psychological abuse, occurs when a person inflicts emotional trauma onto another person through non-physical means. Emotional abuse can be verbal or non-verbal and staff members inside nursing homes may use their authority to intimidate, scare, or isolate nursing home residents. Nursing home residents usually rely completely on staff members for their basic needs such as water, food, medication, and the ability to stay healthy. Due to this vulnerable position, all nursing home residents are at risk of emotional abuse.

Examples of Emotional Nursing Home Abuse 

While there are many different types of emotional abuse that happen in nursing homes, there are some that are more common than others. These include:

  • Shaming residents in private or in front of other people,
  • Yelling at residents,
  • Mocking or insulting residents,
  • Blaming or accusing residents,
  • Talking about residents in front of other staff members or residents,
  • Trivializing the concerns of residents or ignoring their requests,
  • Threatening residents with physical or sexual abuse,
  • Isolating residents from social activities with the other residents,
  • Refusing visitation between residents and their family members, and
  • Moving important items residents need, such as wheelchairs or canes, that make it difficult for the resident to get around on their own.

The above are sadly, just a few of the most common examples of emotional abuse in nursing homes. Due to the fact that this type of abuse does not leave physical marks, it is important that all family members know the signs to watch for.

Signs of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes 

While emotional abuse is devastating, there are signs loved ones can watch for, both in their family member and in the nursing home itself. These include:

  • Refusing to speak to or interact with others
  • Withdrawal and depression
  • Excessive nervousness or fear
  • Agitation
  • Unusual behavior such as biting, sucking, or rocking,
  • Staff members who look tired or stressed,
  • Lack of concern for you or your loved one,
  • Hostile or vague answers from staff members when you phone or visit your loved one, and
  • Exaggerated concern or fake empathy regarding your loved one.

Our Emotional Abuse Attorney in Tampa Can Help Your Family

 If you believe that your loved one is the victim of abuse, you need legal help. At Kohn Law, our Tampa emotional abuse attorney can provide it and help your family member obtain the full and fair compensation they need. Call us today at 813-428-8504 or chat with us online to schedule a consultation and to get the help you need.



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