When the time comes to move our loved ones into a nursing home, we do so with the hope that they will receive the care they deserve. In fact, we have the right to expect that our elderly loved ones can live out their remaining days in a peaceful, comfortable, and safe environment.
The reality, unfortunately, can be quite different. Some studies show apparent abuse and neglect in such facilities. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), reports on nursing homes suggest widespread mistreatment of residents, including abuse and neglect.
Some nursing homes are simply too focused on profits and neglect the health and mental wellbeing of their vulnerable elderly residents. While physical neglect and abuse may be easy to detect, emotional abuse can be much less tangible.
If your loved one suffered from emotional abuse in their nursing home in San Antonio, you can take action and speak to a San Antonio emotional abuse lawyer. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free case evaluation today at (800) 842-6336.
Emotional Abuse Can Have Serious Consequences
Emotional abuse can be just as damaging to your loved one’s health as physical abuse. Sometimes, the two go hand in hand, and what starts as emotional abuse can turn into physical mistreatment. Unfortunately, emotional abuse can be somewhat hard to detect unless your loved one tells you about it. In many cases, abusers target those with cognitive problems and dementia in an effort to go undetected.
Emotional Abuse Explained
Emotional abuse is one’s attempt to frighten, isolate, or control their victim. Acts of emotional abuse in the nursing home can include the following:
- Belittling or humiliating
- Embarrassing the senior in front of others
- Making threats
- Ignoring any requests for help
- Shouting or yelling at the senior
- Socially isolating the senior
- Name-calling and swearing
- Withholding affection
- Indifference to the needs and wishes of the senior
Emotional abuse is hurtful, especially when the perpetrators are caregivers whom a nursing home resident has to rely on for their basic and daily needs.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
It can be exceedingly difficult for relatives to detect emotional abuse. Therefore, if you think something seems off with your loved one, perhaps they are suddenly withdrawn or have lost a considerable amount of weight, you should investigate. Talk to your relative about their daily routine. Ask them questions about caregivers and how they feel at the nursing home. They may tell you about what has happened to them.
If your loved one is non-verbal or suffering from dementia and unable to tell you much, there are still some signs that you could observe. Your loved one may exhibit new behaviors or a change in character that can indicate emotional abuse. These can include:
- Low self-esteem
- Avoiding eye contact
- Mood swings
- Depression and anxiety
- Fear of caregivers
- Changes in appetite and weight loss
Suffering from emotional abuse can have dramatic consequences for an elderly and fragile nursing home resident who may be suffering from medical problems, dementia, and other life-limiting conditions. A senior in a nursing home is dependent on round-the-clock care and caregivers. Suffering from emotional abuse can leave a senior feeling hopeless and isolated. It can also have a negative effect on their general health and wellbeing.
For a free legal consultation with a personal injury lawyer serving San Antonio, call (800) 794-0444
Texas Nursing Home Abuse Laws
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), there are federal laws that protect nursing home residents, such as the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987. In addition, Texas has certain laws that regulate nursing homes in the state. Residents of nursing homes in Texas are entitled to the highest possible mental and physical wellbeing at their facility. This includes being able to live out their final years with respect and their dignity intact. According to Texas Administrative Code §19.601, a resident has the right to be “free from abuse, neglect, misappropriation of resident property, and exploitation.”
If your loved one suffered the terrible effects of emotional abuse, you can rest assured that the law is on your side in this matter. However, you should act as soon as possible. In Texas, you can report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of your loved one to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).
You should also get legal advice imminently, especially if you are thinking of holding the nursing home to account for their failure to provide a safe and secure home for your loved one. Under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code §16.003, you have two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Not filing within the appropriate time frame could leave you unable to receive any compensation. Consulting a San Antonio emotional abuse lawyer can help you get clear on your legal options and any applicable deadlines for filing a lawsuit. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for more information about Texas’s statute of limitations.
San Antonio Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Your San Antonio Emotional Abuse Lawyer Can Help
It can be difficult to know what to do when you discover that your loved one suffers from emotional abuse in their nursing home. Your relative most likely will not be able to stand up for themselves and relies on you for help. However, proving emotional abuse can be harder than proving an incident of physical abuse when there are visible injuries and medical reports clearly stating causation.
Your San Antonio emotional abuse lawyer may be able to help you and your loved one get justice. We can build your case against a nursing home and help with all aspects of your case, including:
- Gathering evidence to prove emotional abuse
- Interviewing witnesses
- Negotiating with the defendant and insurance companies
- Representing you in court
Emotional abuse in the nursing home is morally reprehensible as well as illegal, and you do not have to stand for it. If you can hold the nursing home responsible for their failures, you could potentially recover compensation such as medical expenses, transportation costs, and pain and suffering, among others.
We work on a no win no fee basis, so get in touch now to find out whether you have a claim. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation today at (800) 842-6336.