Abuse can range from emotional, mental, and psychological forms, as well as physical in a nursing home setting. Elderly residents have very few ways to protect or insulate themselves from any kind of mental or emotional abuse. They may feel afraid to tell their loved ones for fear of retaliation, or they may remain unable to communicate their suffering. If you suspect or determine that your elderly loved one suffered from abuse or neglect while in a nursing home, contact a Forest View emotional abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 to potentially help you build a personal injury claim or lawsuit.
Emotional, mental, or psychological abuse occurs when one person causes trauma to another person through some sort of mental or non-physical way. Actions that simulate intended violence, such as forcefully throwing a punch that never lands or screaming obscenities, represent emotional abuse. Essentially, emotional abuse classifies as a form of psychological torture that may occur for short or long periods of time. Nursing home employees and management have a great deal of control and authority over their residents, as these seniors typically rely on them for their daily needs, including food, the ability to get out of bed, or the ability to go to the bathroom. If a nursing home employee or nurse ever abuses their authority toward a nursing home resident through any type of emotional abuse, they engage in nursing home abuse.
For a free legal consultation with a emotional abuse lawyer serving Forest View, call 800-201-3999
Examples of Nursing Home Emotional Abuse
In Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America, the author defines emotional abuse in a nursing home setting as any type of action or inaction over a nursing home resident that causes some sort of trauma or fear psychologically or mentally. Oftentimes, elderly residents have cognitive dysfunction medical conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, that may not allow them to understand what is happening to them or understand their circumstances. Some of the ways emotional abuse appears in a nursing home could include the following actions:
- Screaming anything toward a resident.
- Attempting to shame, accuse, blame, or demean a resident in front of other residents or in private.
- Intentionally ignoring a resident’s requests such as their need to reposition themselves to avoid bedsores, go to the bathroom, or for food or water.
- Physical actions that simulate the intention to physically harm the resident, causing them to fear they will encounter physical harm in some way.
- Verbal threats toward the resident involving either physical or sexual actions.
- Intentionally isolating a resident away from other residents as punishment.
- Preventing a resident from calling or seeing their family members.
- Intentionally moving necessary items the resident needs to move throughout the nursing home to a location difficult for the resident to access, such as a wheelchair.
A nursing home staff member may use their power and authority over a nursing home resident to psychologically terrify and abuse them. In some cases, nursing home employees feel overworked and understaffed, tempting them to release their frustrations and anger on the residents who cannot resist them: again, this is never appropriate.
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Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Abuse
If you have an elderly loved one in a nursing home, you likely placed them there so that they receive the care and attention that they need around the clock. Knowing the symptoms of emotional abuse may help to ensure that your elderly loved one receives the standard of care they deserve. Knowing the signs of emotional abuse in nursing homes will also allow you to intervene early on behalf of your elderly loved one if neglect or abuse does occur.
Some of the signs of emotional abuse in elderly residents may include:
- Sudden fear or anxiety.
- Severe depression.
- Drastic changes in personality unrelated to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Complete lack of concern regarding personal hygiene or taking necessary medication.
- Lack of interest in eating or drinking.
- Sudden fear of nursing home staff employees.
- Reversion to child-like behaviors such as thumb-sucking or rocking.
- A generalized anger toward everyone.
If you notice these signs, do not wait for these symptoms to worsen; alert the nursing home management immediately that you suspect possible emotional abuse. Additionally, if you feel your elderly loved one suffered emotional abuse, consulting a Forest View emotional abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may help you determine how to protect your elderly loved one from further abuse and build a strong nursing home abuse case. Call us at (800) 201-3999.
Red Flags for Neglect or Emotional Abuse
Along with the signs of abuse a resident may display, red flags and warning signs within the actual nursing home can alert you to possible emotional or physical abuse of their residents.
Checking whether a nursing home has a record as one with a history of abuse or neglect may reveal a reason for concern. If you examine public records, you should determine if family members of previous residents listed lawsuits or abuse claims against your nursing home. If any nursing home staff member ever blatantly disrespects you or your elderly loved one, avoids answering questions about your elderly loved one, or prevents you from seeing your loved one, you should contact management and Adult Protective Services immediately. If you are unable to visit your elderly loved one, you should also consider contacting law enforcement.
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Consider a Forest View Emotional Abuse Lawyer
No nursing home resident should ever suffer any kind of emotional abuse. If you feel your elderly loved one suffered any kind of emotional abuse in a nursing home, a Forest View emotional abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to help you determine your loved one’s legal rights. Call us at (800) 201-3999.