The belief, or knowledge, that a loved one is suffering verbal, psychological, or emotional abuse is extraordinarily painful, especially when that loved one is in a vulnerable position, depending on those abusers for their survival. You might feel powerless to do anything about it. When an elderly nursing home resident is suffering abuse, they may be scared to ask for help, and frighteningly, they might not be having their basic needs met. It is unacceptable and dangerous. You are not powerless. Justice is available, and Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to help you get it.
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we treat your family with the same care and attention we treat our own families. We care about you and will do whatever we can to help you and your family get justice. Even if you are not sure but suspect your family member is suffering abuse, it might be wise to speak to a legal professional. For the sake of a vulnerable relative who may be afraid or incapable of reporting the abuse, it is better to be safe than sorry. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can go over options with you as to how to proceed with your case. We offer clients a free consultation and work on a contingency basis, so you pay us nothing until your Miami verbal or emotional abuse lawyer wins a settlement or a jury verdict for you. You deserve justice, and so does your relative, and we want to help you get it. Call us today at (800) 842-6336 to learn more.
Common Victims of Verbal and Emotional Abuse
Unfortunately, dementia patients are some of the most commonly preyed-upon abuse victims in nursing homes. According to the Mayo Clinic, dementia often leads to memory loss. Because of dementia patients’ inability to recall incidences of abuse or even the fact that they are being abused at all, they make perfect victims.
As a result, abusive nursing home employees know their abuse will likely go undetected and may feel little motivation to stop. In these cases, family members may have to pay close attention to changes in their loved one’s demeanor. Sudden changes in mood, worsened hygiene, and lost weight, among others, can be signs that a dementia patient is silently suffering the effects of verbal and emotional abuse.
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Those Afraid of Retaliation
Even patients fully capable of recalling and recounting specific occurrences of abuse fall victim to abusers. However, they may not report it for fear of retaliation by their abuser for doing so. These nursing home patients understand that if they report the abuse to a family member who then reports it to management, the guilty employee may face punishment from their superiors. Abusers may lash out and punish the victim, even escalating the abuse, in response to their own punishment. An abuser, essentially seeking revenge on their victim, becomes especially dangerous when they begin to deprive the victim of basic needs. Among other crucial unmet needs, a victim might not receive the medication, proper nutrition, and hygiene care they require for their health and survival.
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Signs to Look For
If you suspect your loved one is being abused but is too afraid to report it or is suffering from dementia and incapable of doing so, you may have to look for other signs to put those pieces together. If you have noticed any of the following, it might be worthwhile to discuss your situation with a Miami verbal or emotional abuse lawyer to evaluate options.
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Changes in Demeanor
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), an abused nursing home victim may start to gradually show a deterioration in their mood. Verbally and emotionally abused victims are often made to feel worthless and unimportant by their abuser, so you may notice that your loved one has begun to hold their head down, seem less confident, or avoid making eye contact. A once-happy victim may start to smile and engage less. Social withdrawal is common when a victim is consistently criticized and shamed for speaking to their abuser. Your relative may eventually cease to participate in conversations or speak much at all. Abuse victims might also become hesitant to express physical affection, such as hugging or holding hands. This is likely not a sign of their feelings towards you as much as it is a sign of their emotional decline.
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A nursing home resident’s appearance may also provide a clue as to whether they are verbally and emotionally abused. Victims of abuse often start to look disheveled and unclean. There may be spots on their clothes that look days old, and they might look or smell as though they have not been bathed. Hair may be messy as though it has not been combed in days.
Another clue to help you determine whether your loved one is verbally or emotionally abused is staff behavior. Look for any changes in your loved one’s mood when an employee is near. Try to notice whether they shut down. An abuse victim might do so to indicate to their abuser that they are not reporting any potential abuse. If the employee is lurking, try to get time alone with your relative to give them the opportunity and privacy to discuss the matter with you.
Also, try to pay attention to the way employees engage with each other and how they treat other residents. If you have the chance to eat a meal with your relative, note whether employees are offering to help feed less-capable residents. Glance into other rooms, if possible, to get a sense of the interactions taking place between employees and other residents. Notice whether employees discuss the residents with each other and, if so, observe the tone and content of those conversations.
Most importantly, listen to your gut. If you have the sense that something is not right, in such crucial situations, it is better to be safe than sorry. If your loved one cannot rely on their caretakers for survival, they might have to rely on you to detect that.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
If you are not completely sure but suspect your loved one is suffering verbal or emotional abuse, speaking to a legal professional might provide some clarity. At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we offer free consultations, and there is no obligation to commit to working with us or even filing a legal case. If you are curious or confused, we can evaluate your situation and offer potential courses of action.
Call us today at (800) 842-6336 to see if a Miami verbal or emotional abuse lawyer from our team might be able to help you and your loved one get justice. Because we work on a contingency basis, there is never any need to worry about payment unless we win your case.
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