Memory care facilities provide special services for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Sadly, seniors at memory care facilities are at a higher risk of emotional abuse because of these very conditions. Emotional abuse can include:
- Threats of violence or punishment
- Social or physical isolation
You can protect your loved one by learning the signs of abuse.
How to Recognize Emotional Abuse
Unlike other forms of abuse, emotional abuse—also called psychological abuse—does not leave telltale marks on the body. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, dementia and Alzheimer’s patients may have difficulty reporting abuse because of their illnesses. These factors combine to leave seniors at memory care facilities at a higher risk of emotional abuse. They can also make it difficult to spot.
Residents suffering from emotional abuse may experience trouble sleeping, unexplained weight loss, or act violent or agitated. They may also:
- Seem particularly afraid of or upset by certain caregivers
- Show signs of trauma, such as rocking back and forth
- Display regressive behaviors, like thumb sucking
- Lose interest in activities
- Become listless and depressed
Emotional abuse can lead to a decline in a resident’s overall health and wellbeing. According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the long-term effects of abuse can destroy an individual’s psychological health and even lead to premature death.
Your Loved One Could Be Suffering from Other Forms of Abuse
According to Clinical Interventions in Aging, residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s are more vulnerable to all forms of abuse and neglect in long-term care settings. If your loved one’s caregivers are emotionally abusive, they may be inflicting other forms of abuse, as well.
Be aware of the following signs of physical and sexual abuse, financial abuse, and neglect:
- Frequent and unexplained falls and accidents
- Medication errors
- The use of medications as chemical restraints
- Poor physical hygiene and an unclean facility
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Cuts, bruises, burns, and other signs of physical violence
- The presence of marks or bruises around the breasts or genitals
- Missing money, jewelry, or personal items
- Changes to wills, bank accounts, retirement benefits, or other financial documents
- Untrained, overworked, or insufficient staff
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 794-0444
Getting Help for Your Loved One
It is not only morally wrong for caregivers to abuse residents, but it is also against the law. If you suspect your loved one is the victim of emotional abuse or any other form of abuse or neglect, help is available.
Reporting the Abuse
You should immediately report suspected abuse to the memory care facility’s administration. It is a good idea to make a detailed, written report of any signs of abuse you have noticed in your loved one, as well as any harmful or inappropriate staff behavior. Include the dates, times, and locations of any incidents, and the names of the involved staff and witnesses.
You can also report the facility to your local law enforcement agency. If they determine abuse occurred, your loved one’s abuser could face criminal charges.
Memory care facility regulation happens on the state level. Call the Eldercare Locator for help connecting to your state or local adult protective services agency or long-term care ombudsman.
We Can Help You Seek Financial Compensation for Your Loved One
You may want to seek the counsel of our law firm for a memory care facility abuse case. If your loved one suffered mistreatment in their care home, you could be entitled to awards to pay for injuries and other damages stemming from their abuse.
We could help you pursue awards for your family member’s medical care, physical therapy, and rehabilitation services, facility fees, and the costs of relocating to another memory care home. Your loved one may also win compensation for their physical pain and mental suffering.
If your loved one died because of complications associated with emotional abuse, an attorney from our team could help you seek compensation for their wrongful death.
Reach Out to Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
The team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm wants to help you seek justice for your loved one. Our attorneys can assist you with filing an insurance claim or civil lawsuit against the memory care facility where your loved one experienced emotional abuse.
We believe in standing up for victims and their rights. Our firm has helped elder abuse victims and their families win big settlements, and we want to help you, too. Call our office at (800) 794-0444. Our team can advise you about the laws and regulations specific to your area and provide you with a free consultation.