Placing your parents or loved ones into a nursing home is never an easy decision. It is a choice a family makes to keep their loved one safe, clean, and medically supported when they can no longer do it for themselves. It is a vulnerable, scary time in any senior’s life to transition into nursing home living. Many families do extra research to make sure that their loved one is in good hands.
Sadly, many nursing home residents are abused in Texas every year. It is a complicated phenomenon to study, but the best approximation is that ten percent of elderly Americans experience some form of abuse. Of that percentage, psychological abuse is prevalent, per the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). If you’ve seen or suspect your loved one is verbally or emotionally abused at their nursing home, speak up. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336.
Verbal and Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Verbal and emotional abuse are similar terms to describe psychological mistreatment, although there are some differences. They are two distinct forms of abuse. Verbal abuse involves using words as weapons to hurt another. On the other hand, emotional abuse can go beyond words.
The impact of these forms of abuse can result in trauma. Many victims require extra care, support, and therapy after experiencing verbal and emotional abuse. Nurses, aides, and staff that are overworked and under-trained might resort to these forms of abuse when they are stressed and overwhelmed at work. Verbal and emotional abuse might include:
- Withholding special treats
- Cursing and name-calling
- The silent treatment
- Not allowing a resident to participate in activities
- Ignoring a resident when they need help
If you think someone is verbally abusing your loved one, you may have witnessed it yourself, or your loved one may have reported it to you. Verbal abuse is bullying behavior. Nursing home residents might not report this abuse because of memory issues, communication problems, or they might not want to get anyone in trouble. Verbal abuse is often not an isolated incident but rather an ongoing occurrence. It may be at the hands of a nurse, aide, staff, other residents, or visitors. Common types of nursing home verbal abuse against patients include:
- Yelling or using a mean tone
- Inappropriate comments
- Harsh criticism
- Embarrassing the resident in front of others
- Accusing and blaming
- Trivializing concerns
Nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to emotional abuse. One reason is because of the power and authority a caretaker has over a nursing home resident. A resident might have severe medical challenges and be vulnerable in the hands of their caretaker.
In emotional abuse, the abuser makes their victim feel unimportant. A victim can develop all types of psychological trauma from emotional abuse. They may feel deserving of the mistreatment and feel unable to seek help. Emotional abuse may include:
- Ignoring their needs
- Insulting and degrading
- Isolating then from others
- Threatening and harassing
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Verbal or Emotional Abuse
If you suspect one or more individuals are verbally or emotionally abusing your loved one while in the care of a nursing home, you might observe changes in their behavior. Many families see a difference in behavior before they know anything is going on. Be sure to keep an eye open for changes like:
- Loss of interest in favorite things
- Personality changes
- Mood changes
- Weight changes
- Acting strange or fearful around nursing home employees
For a free legal consultation with a Verbal or Emotional Abuse Lawyer serving Fort Worth, call (800) 842-6336
Verbal or Emotional Abuse Is Intolerable
Even if you did your research, it is hard to find a nursing home with a decent staff to resident ratio. Nursing homes are frequently overpopulated and understaffed. Sometimes people are put into roles before they are trained and ready, or sometimes the team is stretched thin without appropriate breaks. With the job’s stress and all of the challenges within the field, a storm of frustration and anger can develop. Regardless of the reason, abuse is never okay.
You trusted the nursing home to take care of your loved one. It is the nursing home’s responsibility to make sure your relative is safe and free of abuse. The law protects nursing home residents from being abused in any way. They have the right to receive care that allows them to be healthy, safe, and clean. If you see your parents or relatives being treated this way in the nursing home, other residents may be experiencing the same thing. Things might not change unless someone speaks up.
Fort Worth Verbal or Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 842-6336
Your Loved One’s Case
Even though verbal or emotional abuse cases have challenges, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Fort Worth verbal or emotional abuse lawyer to discuss your loved one’s case. Taking legal action against a nursing home facility or individual holds them accountable for their responsibility in the abuse. Your loved one’s case may settle out of court and never go to a jury trial. Plus, it is up to your lawyer to prove the case.
Depending on their health, your loved one may require a family member to serve as an advocate. As their advocate, the first step is calling for an initial consultation. Your lawyer will collect evidence from you and others surrounding the case. Your Fort Worth verbal or emotional abuse lawyer will want information like:
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Medical bills
- Video or audio recording of the verbal abuse
- Police reports
- Screenshots or emails
You can help your loved one’s case by offering up all known information about the abuse and helping your family member communicate what happened.
How Much a Nursing Home Verbal or Emotional Abuse Case Is Worth
The payout for an abuse case like this varies greatly, depending on the circumstances and abuse level. Your loved one may be compensated for the extra medical costs of therapy and prescription medication associated with the abuse. They may also be entitled to pain and suffering and legal fees. Some factors considered are the severity and length of abuse.
Statute of Limitations in Texas
Texas residents shouldn’t delay filing any nursing home abuse case. The statute of limitations is two years per Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003, with some exceptions. If you’ve fallen outside of this time frame, you may still have a case if your loved one couldn’t communicate it to you sooner. When considering a lawsuit, it is usually best to file your claim sooner than later.
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We Can Help
When you placed your family in the care of a nursing home, you had every reason to believe that the facility would uphold a level of dignity, respect, and kindness. If you learned of the abuse from another or witnessed it yourself, you may feel guilty. It is not your fault.
Work with a Fort Worth verbal or emotional abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call now for a free consultation at (800) 842-6336. You don’t have to face this alone. We will fight for your loved one to get the justice that they deserve.
Call or text (800) 842-6336 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form