According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.3 million people live in nursing homes. That means there are many seniors potentially subjected to problems in nursing homes stemming from understaffing and abuse by staff members. While many experts recognize physical abuse as a growing problem, emotional abuse is just as dangerous.
Emotional abuse focuses on seniors’ emotions, driving changes in their mental (and even physical) state. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to this type of abuse since many become dependent on caregivers. If your loved one suffers emotional abuse in a nursing home, consult a Los Angeles emotional abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a free consultation.
Types of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse can happen when staff members take action that hurts their patients’ emotional and psychological health. These actions can take many forms depending on the people involved. When it happens, it can leave lasting effects. Some of the types of emotional abuse are:
- Forced isolation: Keeping someone away from other people without a valid reason (i.e., serious infectious illness or violent behavior) can be emotional abuse.
- Not talking: Even if a staff member provides care, it is a form of emotional abuse to not speak to seniors. It is essential for seniors to feel as if someone hears them. Actively choosing not to respond can affect their mental health.
- Treating seniors like children: Seniors are adults and have agency over their actions and lives. Treating them like children takes that agency away and can have an emotional impact on them.
- Insults: Insults are generally hurtful statements and can directly affect seniors’ emotions.
- Verbal assaults: Being verbally abusive through yelling, insults, and other actions is a form of abuse since it hurts seniors psychologically.
- Threats: Threats are a form of emotional abuse since they instill fear in seniors.
- Intimidation: Any form of intimidation designed to induce fear and elicit specific actions against a person’s will can also hurt seniors’ emotional state.
- Humiliation: Humiliating seniors can damage their sense of self-worth, which is particularly dangerous for older adults since they already experience the emotional effects of being dependent on others.
- Harassment: Harassing seniors tries to force them to perform actions that they do not want to do.
Emotional abuse can have lasting impacts on seniors, which can affect their overall health. Seniors who suffer emotional distress will likely experience other health problems as a result, which is why many facilities focus on maintaining their emotional, psychological, and mental health as a means of keeping seniors healthy.
Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Abuse in nursing homes is a growing problem that includes emotional abuse. Much of the ongoing research focuses on identifying and addressing physical abuse, but emotional abuse can be just as destructive. Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse can be harder to detect and prevent.
As the impact of emotional abuse increases, seniors may begin to experience other health problems. For example, the stress of the abuse can weaken immune systems, leading to other illnesses and infections. Staff members who participate in emotional abuse may be more likely to commit other forms of abuse. It is important to remain vigilant when it comes to your loved one’s care. Emotional abuse can begin at any time and go unseen for a long time if you are not there to intervene.
For a free legal consultation with a Emotional Abuse Lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Options for Recourse
If your loved one experienced emotional abuse, and you can prove that emotional abuse has happened, you can take legal action against the facility. Emotional abuse violates the standard of care that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requires the facility to provide. Furthermore, the facility is responsible for monitoring and addressing problems in the care that your loved one receives. This responsibility could make the individual staff member(s) and the facility liable for any abuse.
If you have questions regarding the legal actions that you can take, you can consult with a Los Angeles emotional abuse lawyer. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free case review with a team member.
Los Angeles Emotional Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
If you believe that your loved one has experienced emotional abuse in a nursing home, there are several steps that you can take:
- Addressing it with the facility: In many cases, emotional abuse results from a single staff member’s actions. For whatever reason, that staff member began using emotional abuse tactics, which is not something the facility likely condones. Contact the management team to address the problem.
- Remove your loved one from the facility: If the facility does nothing to correct the problem, remove your loved one from the facility. A transfer to a different facility can stop the abuse.
- Consider legal action: The costs of changing facilities and treating the effects of the abuse can drain your bank account. Consider filing a lawsuit against the facility to recover those expenses as compensation, as well as an award for your loved one’s pain and suffering.
- Consult a legal representative: Dealing with a lawsuit on your own while managing your life and your loved one’s life can be difficult. A nursing home abuse lawyer can discuss your case, give you legal guidance, and they could help you file a lawsuit within the two-year time limit set by CCP § 335.1.
There are other steps that you can take that are not on this list. What is most important is that you intervene as early as possible to help your loved one. The more you can limit the abuse, the better the outcomes for your loved one. You do not have to shoulder the costs of this process alone. You can hold the nursing home facility and staff member who committed the abuse accountable.
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With the help of a Los Angeles emotional abuse lawyer, it is possible to file a lawsuit against the responsible staff member and nursing home facility. Contact the team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 to schedule a free consultation. We also work on a contingency system where you only pay if we win your case.