Understanding Emotional Abuse In Nursing Homes
Nursing home abuse takes many forms, and it is not always physical. Psychological or emotional abuse is just as damaging to nursing home residents, and can cause mental injuries. Residents and their loved ones can file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for these injuries, but these claims are much more complex than others. Emotional abuse is sometimes more difficult to prove, and it is much harder for loved ones to identify when it is occurring. If your loved one is in a nursing home, below are the most important things to know about emotional abuse.
What is Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes?
Emotional abuse occurs when a person intentionally causes psychological harm to someone else. Emotional abuse involves an aggressor, which is usually someone in a position of authority or power over someone else. Aggressors use that power and trust to humiliate, intimidate, or isolate victims, which can cause serious damage to victims. Elderly residents who are victims of emotional abuse in nursing homes may develop mental trauma and serious emotional distress.
Nursing home residents are already often reluctant to report any type of abuse or neglect they suffer from. Emotional abuse is largely underreported because victims may not even realize it is happening. They may simply know that they do not like a certain staff member, or that they are not as kind as others. Other residents may not be able to verbalize the abuse because they suffer from cognitive issues.
Common Types of Emotional Abuse
Unfortunately, nursing home staff members may emotionally abuse a resident in a number of ways. The most common of these include:
- Making fun of residents
- Ignoring a resident’s call for help
- Blocking access to any form of communication, such as taking away a resident’s phone
- Refusing access to walkers and other assistive devices
- Neglecting the basic daily needs of residents, such as hygiene
- Withholding proper nutrition and drinks from residents
- Isolating a resident from other people
- Menacing or terrorizing a resident
- Threatening abuse
- Intimidating or yelling at a resident
- Refusing visits from friends or family members
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse may not leave behind physical marks, but there are still signs to watch for. The most common of these to watch for include:
- Sudden behavioral changes
- Lowered self-esteem
- Reluctance to make eye contact
- An expression of fear or hopelessness
- A sudden indifference to personal hygiene
- Dehydration and malnourishment
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
- Confusion and depression
- A sudden change in eating habits
- A loss of interest in activities and hobbies they once loved
- Withdrawal from social situations
- Anxiousness or nervousness
- Self-soothing behavior, such as rocking or sucking on the thumb
Call Our Emotional Abuse Attorney in Tampa for a Free Consultation
Emotional abuse is just as devastating as any other kind. If you suspect that your loved one is a victim, our Tampa emotional abuse attorney at Kohn Law is here to help. Our knowledgeable attorney knows how to prove these cases, and the injuries incurred, so your family can claim the full and fair settlement that is justly yours. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free review of your case.