When a resident comes to live in a living facility, the entire family places a great deal of trust in the nursing home staff to look after their loved one. When nursing home staff emotionally abuse residents, they betray that trust. In some instances, they even break the law. Emotional abuse does not produce any tangible evidence. Thus, it is more challenging to detect than some other forms of abuse.
Emotionally Abusive Behavior
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse occurs any time a caregiver or someone the elderly person trusts or expects aid from intentionally causes or creates a risk of harm, or fails to prevent the risk of harm.
Furthermore, if this individual causes the elderly person to feel anguish, mental pain, fear, or distress through verbal or nonverbal behavior, that is emotional abuse. Behavior of emotional abuse could include:
- Humiliation, such as name-calling or insults.
- Threats of a physical nature or others.
- Isolating the victim from his friends and family.
- Controlling the victim, such as restricting their mobility or who they can talk to.
- Screaming or yelling at the victim.
- Pervasive influence over their activities, finances, and personal life.
Signs of Emotional Abuse of the Elderly
Emotional abuse can cause victims to feel threatened and more inclined to be controlled by the abuser. Thus, they may be reluctant to report abuse. The absence of the signs of physical abuse may also make nursing home officials reluctant to believe any reports from the residents. This reluctance may be increased if the resident has displayed signs of an inconsistent memory or mental deterioration.
Improperly trained or untrained caretakers may not recognize the warning signs of abuse committed by their coworkers. Thus, the abuser may continue his or her behavior without fear of reprimand.
Victims of emotional abuse may depend on friends and family to prevent their abuse, but family members and caretakers may have difficulty detecting the signs. There are some warning signs that may indicate that emotional abuse is occurring. Victims of emotional abuse may display indications, such as:
- Mood swings, such as suddenly becoming unusually angry or withdrawn.
- Uncomfortable with the facility and wanting to leave.
- Having negative reactions to specific staff members.
Learning to recognize these signs could help you prevent emotional abuse in nursing homes.
If you or your loved one decide to live in a nursing home facility, check into the facility’s reputation for providing care to its residents. Ask questions about the facility’s history of abuse, if any. Speak with past or current residents about their experiences living within the facility.
If you suspect that a loved one suffers from emotional abuse, you have options to bring the abuse to an end and expose the abuser. An experienced elder abuse attorney may be able to prove that emotional abuse is happening and expose those who are causing it.
For a free legal consultation, call 800-934-6555
Let Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Help Prevent Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Preventing any further emotional abuse of your loved one is our goal. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has more than 50 years of combined experience, and we do not shy away from tough cases. Having a nursing home lawyer supporting your claim can help you. Our attorneys will handle your claim from start to finish and bring you peace of mind. We prevent elder abuse on behalf of our clients in the following ways:
- Traveling to you, if necessary.
- Gathering evidence.
- Documenting all relevant dates and details.
- Interviewing witnesses.
- Negotiating a settlement on your behalf.
- Filing a complaint.
- Pursuing your claim in court.
We represent elder abuse clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that we provide our representation at no cost unless we negotiate a settlement on your behalf or win your case. However, the time you may have to pursue your claim is not unlimited. Every state has a statute of limitations, or deadline, to take action, so call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 201-3999 for a free case evaluation.