Many families make the difficult decision to move their elderly parents or loved ones into a nursing home due to their inability to care appropriately for them throughout the day. The decision is often a difficult one, but the right choice in many cases because of the supervision and care needed to ensure the senior family member receives the care and supervision they need for their quality of life. There is a level of trust when a family moves their loved one to a nursing home facility.
Families believe that their loved one will receive both dignity and respect at all times from the staff of the nursing home and that they will also receive a safe, healthy, and socially active environment. Unfortunately, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that one in 10 elderly Americans will experience elder abuse in their lives. Elder abuse includes emotional abuse. If you believe your elderly loved one suffered emotional abuse as a resident in a nursing home, learn how a Detroit emotional abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you receive the justice your loved one deserves. Call (800) 842-6336 today for a free case evaluation.
Psychological and Emotional Abuse
Psychological and emotional abuse are both types of abuse that can occur by the nursing home staff against residents of a nursing home. Psychological abuse is when a person destroys another person’s ability to trust themselves. Emotional abuse is when a person attacks a person’s ability to feel safe or trust their environment.
Psychological Abuse in Nursing Homes
Some examples of psychological abuse include attempting to make a person not believe their own experiences and contradicting their statements and memories. In nursing homes, many residents already suffer from cognitive degenerative medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. If a nursing home staff member preys on these conditions, it can easily confuse and scare residents of a nursing home, causing them to further doubt themselves and even their memories.
Other examples of psychological abuse are purposely manipulating a victim in order to obtain behavioral compliance. For example, a nursing home resident could manipulate a resident into staying silent or staying in bed. Eventually, these nursing home residents become terrified as they need to rely on their abusers for even simple needs such as food, water, or going to the bathroom.
Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Emotional abuse in nursing homes is more of an outright emotional harm caused to a resident. Examples of emotional abuse in nursing homes could include berating, shaming, humiliating, insulting, mocking, isolating the nursing home resident, telling the nursing home resident that no one loves them or that no one wants to come to visit them, or simply ignoring their basic needs for food, water, hygiene or social interaction.
Symptoms of Psychological or Emotional Abuse of Residents in Nursing Homes
If you have a loved one in a nursing home, make sure to carefully monitor them periodically for symptoms of psychological or emotional abuse. This type of abuse is real but does not leave physical evidence behind. Make no mistake, however, this type of abuse causes a serious impact and devastation to victims. Some of the symptoms of psychological or emotional abuse of elderly residents in nursing homes can include the following:
- Sudden weight loss or weight gain
- Sudden changes in personality
- Self-harm or talk of suicide
- Loss of interest in hygiene
- Loss of interest in social interactions
- A substantial change in physical health
- Apparent fear or cowering when certain staff members of the nursing home appear
- Regressive behavior such as rocking back and forth and/or thumb sucking
- Acting out violently, sexually, or otherwise out of character
In cases where your elderly loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, you may not have the ability to communicate with them about any potential abuse. In these cases, it remains even more important for you to notice any small changes in their behavior. If your loved one does not have any cognitive challenges, make sure to visit with them often and ask about their environment in the nursing home and if they feel safe and protected living there. Never ignore any signs or symptoms of potential psychological or emotional abuse.
For a free legal consultation with a Emotional Abuse Lawyer serving Detroit, call (800) 794-0444
Consequences of Psychological and Emotional Abuse
When nursing home residents suffer from psychological and emotional abuse, the devastation is often severe and irreparable. They rely on the nursing home staff for their most basic needs, 24 hours a day. When they feel insecure and afraid for their very existence, they remain at greater risk of developing serious mental health issues including eating disorders, fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even the loss of the will to live. In fact, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, elderly victims of emotional abuse have a 300% increased risk of death as a result of their psychological or emotional abuse. The reason is that many elderly residents that suffer from emotional abuse attempt to kill themselves in order to escape the abuse and not burden their family with their circumstances.
Remember, if you have a suspicion that your elderly loved one may have experienced any kind of psychological or emotional abuse, you should bring your suspicions immediately to the attention of the nursing home staff. Additionally, you have the legal right to pursue justice through Adult Protective Services and even law enforcement, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
Detroit Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Work with a Detroit Emotional Abuse Lawyer
You never expect that your elderly loved one will experience emotional abuse or neglect as a resident of a nursing home. However, this experience is unfortunately all too common for senior members in our society. If you suspect or have evidence that your family member experienced emotional abuse as a resident of a nursing home, a Detroit emotional abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can work with you to explain your legal rights and your next steps.
Call (800) 842-6336 today to discuss your case with a member of our team.