Emotional abuse inflicts psychological wounds on victims, such as anguish, fear, and sadness. Verbal and emotional abuse can be difficult to detect and prove as it usually does not show on the body of an elderly person.
When you entrust a nursing home with the care of your beloved spouse or parent, the last thing on your mind is that they might end up suffering abuse or neglect. The nursing home has a legal responsibility to protect residents from abuse; this includes emotional and verbal abuse. You have the right to expect that your loved one can live out their remaining years in dignity and without fear or mental anguish caused by verbal and emotional abuse.
A facility can be liable for any abuse that happens on its property, whether the perpetrator was a staff member, another resident, or a guest of another resident.
If you notice any concerning changes in the demeanor of your loved one in care at a nursing home, and you suspect verbal and/or emotional abuse, you may wish to act quickly so there are no permanent injuries to your loved one’s mind and body.
If you do not know what to do for the best outcome, getting an opinion from a nursing home lawyer can help. We can advise you on your legal options and on how to file a personal injury lawsuit against a nursing home. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Types of Verbal and Emotional Abuse in the Nursing Home
There can be many ways in which an elderly person may suffer emotional and verbal abuse in a nursing home. Some common forms of abuse include:
- Making threats
- Attempting to humiliate the resident in front of others
- Speaking in a harsh tone
- Yelling at a resident
- Withholding verbal interaction and care
- Isolating a resident from social activities
- Ignoring a resident when they ask for assistance
This list is not conclusive and there can be other ways in which an elderly person may suffer emotional abuse within a nursing home.
Signs of Verbal Abuse
Finding out from your loved one that they are suffering from emotional and verbal abuse in their nursing home can be upsetting and worrying.
Abusers may target the elderly with cognitive problems who are unable to explain the abuse to their family. Verbal abuse can be challenging to identify and prove. Unlike physical abuse in the nursing home, verbal abuse leaves no evidence on an elderly person’s body.
It is, therefore, important to pay attention to the nursing home environment as a whole. Perhaps you have seen staff members yell at residents while you were visiting your spouse or parent? You may have seen staff deliberately ignoring a resident’s attempt at attracting their attention, using a harsh tone, or belittling and humiliating a resident.
If you witness any mistreatment, you can assume that your loved one is also suffering verbal and emotional abuse when you are not around. Some signs that may point to verbal and emotional abuse are:
- A general change in personality
- Low self-esteem
- Self-harming and thoughts of suicide
- Sudden weight loss
- Fear of staff at the nursing home
Consequences of Verbal and Emotional Abuse
It is important to address any suspicion of abuse immediately. The psychological effects of prolonged verbal and emotional abuse can be devastating for anyone, let alone an elderly person.
When a nursing home resident lives in constant fear of verbal attacks, feeling on edge every day, they can develop depression and anxiety, according to the World Health Organization.
For a free legal consultation with a Verbal or Emotional Abuse Lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Liability
Nursing homes have to abide by state and federal laws designed to maintain certain standards, most of all to ensure the safety and dignity of nursing home residents. This includes the right to be free from mental abuse, according to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987.
A nursing home is therefore responsible for ensuring that residents suffer neither verbal nor emotional abuse from staff members, residents, or visitors. If, for example, a resident suffers emotional abuse because staff members are stressed due to understaffing, the home may be liable.
If your loved one has suffered verbal or emotional abuse in a nursing home, you do not have to accept it. You can file a personal injury lawsuit and may receive an award for the pain and anguish experienced by your loved one.
It can be quite a challenge to prove verbal abuse, but reporting it and taking action is important. An award for damages can help your loved one recover from this dreadful experience and reporting the abuse will also help other residents in the home.
Chicago Verbal or Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help You
When you suspect or you know for sure that your loved one is suffering verbal and emotional abuse in a nursing home, you may feel angry and powerless. Fortunately, you do not need to handle this alone.
We can be by your side and hold those responsible to account. It may be daunting to take on a nursing home by yourself, but our team of Chicago verbal or emotional abuse lawyers can advise you on the best next steps to take.
We can discuss your legal options and can help to gather evidence and witnesses to build your case. There is no risk for you as we work on a contingency basis and charge no attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and speak to our team.