Nursing home abuse is an unfortunate reality across the United States, according to the National Institute on Aging. Senior citizens who live in long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable because they rely on staff to care for their basic physical needs. Elderly nursing home residents are also sometimes isolated from their families. They may only see relatives infrequently or speak on the phone occasionally, or they may not have any contact at all.
Emotional abuse can be just as devastating, or even worse, than physical abuse, but emotional abuse may be harder to detect. Signs of physical abuse are often obvious, but symptoms of emotional abuse are typically more subtle and easier to miss.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm was created to advocate for vulnerable people who were abused and neglected by those who were trusted to care for them.
If you have reason to suspect that your family member has suffered emotional abuse in a nursing home, an Atlanta emotional abuse lawyer may be able to help. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can investigate to find out what happened and who is responsible and can pursue financial compensation. Call our office at (800)201-3999.
Types of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse can take many forms. Staff members may yell at residents, ridicule them, or call them names. Employees may humiliate senior citizens or blame them for things they did not do or for things that they did not intend to do, such as accidentally spilling food or water. In some cases, staff members may ignore residents’ needs and calls for help or even act as though a resident does not exist at all. Employees may also isolate residents by refusing to allow them to participate in social activities or to spend time with other residents.
Emotional abuse can cause vulnerable senior citizens to feel isolated and helpless. Since nursing home residents are entirely dependent on staff for nutrition, hygiene, transportation, and other basic necessities, victims of emotional abuse often keep quiet because they fear that if they were to speak up, they might be subjected to physical abuse or neglect, as well.
For a free legal consultation with a emotional abuse lawyer serving Atlanta, call 800-201-3999
Signs That Your Loved One May Be Suffering from Emotional Abuse
Your family member may be reluctant to tell you about emotional abuse, but you may be able to spot tell-tale signs. Victims of emotional abuse frequently become withdrawn or depressed. When you go to the nursing home to visit, you may notice that your relative is less talkative than usual. He or she may seem to feel uncomfortable around a particular caregiver and may avoid making eye contact with that individual. Your loved one may even engage in self-harm.
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Federal Law on Emotional Abuse
Georgia law contains provisions designed to protect vulnerable populations, including senior citizens living in nursing homes, from emotional abuse. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Nursing Home Reform Act prohibits inflicting mental anguish on a disabled adult, elderly person, or resident, as well as failing to provide essential services. Threatening, intimidating, or attempting to intimidate a disabled adult, elderly person, or resident is a misdemeanor.
This federal law addresses other forms of abuse. For example, coercing a disabled or elderly person through the use or threat of physical restraints; exposing or threatening to expose damaging information; interfering with a person’s identification, passport, or immigration documents; using a controlled substance to compel a person to act against his or her will; and causing or threatening to cause financial harm are all violations.
Using deception to compel a person to provide personal services, exploiting a disabled or elderly individual for personal benefit, isolating a person from family and friends, and trafficking a disabled or elderly person are also illegal under the statute.
What To Do If You Think Your Loved One May Be a Victim
If you suspect that your loved one has suffered emotional abuse in a nursing home, file a complaint with the nursing home. You should file a complaint with the appropriate state entity to ensure that your suspicions are investigated and that, if they are substantiated, the individuals responsible and the nursing home are held accountable. You can also contact an Atlanta emotional abuse lawyer to pursue legal action and to seek financial compensation.
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How Pintas & Mullins Law Firm May Be Able To Help Your Family
An Atlanta emotional abuse lawyer can listen to your concerns and talk to your loved one, other residents, and staff members. We can work to gather as much information as possible regarding the type of abuse your family member suffered, who was responsible, and what, if anything, the nursing home’s administrators did to stop it.
Unfortunately, instances of emotional abuse in nursing homes often are not limited to one victim. Some staff members create an environment of fear and intimidation that affects numerous residents. Our team can find out during our investigation if other nursing home residents have also been victimized.
After an initial consultation, we can create a plan to investigate emotional abuse and to seek a financial award on your relative’s behalf. Our team can keep you informed throughout the legal process so you will always know where your case stands.
We know that you and your family may not be able to afford to hire an attorney. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we only accept payment if we succeed in securing a financial settlement on a client’s behalf.
Seeking justice in cases involving nursing home abuse is often a complex process that may drag on for years. Our firm does not shy away from tough cases. If you believe your loved one suffered emotional abuse, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800)201-3999 to learn how we may be able to help you.