Verbal and emotional abuse can affect the physical and mental health of an elderly nursing home resident. Nursing home residents often depend on the help of staff for their basic daily needs, such as eating, drinking, and personal hygiene. Verbal and emotional abuse can leave them feeling scared to ask for help, as well as isolated and in fear.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), research suggests that around 2.5 million vulnerable individuals in long-term care settings are at a much higher risk for abuse and neglect than older persons who live at home. This can come as a shock to those who thought their loved ones would be safe and well-cared for in a nursing home.
Unfortunately, verbal and emotional abuse can easily go undetected, as it typically does not leave any signs on the body of the elderly person. The abuse can, however, lead to serious negative psychological and even physical health effects.
What Is Verbal and Emotional Abuse?
Verbal and emotional abuse can entail humiliating seniors, threatening them, ignoring them when they need assistance, and isolating them from friends and family, to name just a few examples.
If your loved one is emotionally and verbally abused in a nursing home, contact a San Francisco verbal or emotional abuse lawyer to find out whether you have legal recourse. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for help today.
The Signs of Verbal and Emotional Abuse
If you suspect that your loved one is verbally or emotionally abused in their nursing home, you will need to pay close attention to any signs. Staying alert to any signs of verbal or emotional abuse can be pivotal, especially if your loved one is non-verbal or does not want to talk about what they are experiencing for fear of revenge or out of shame.
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), abusers frequently target those with disabilities, memory problems, or dementia. This can make it easier for an abuser to cover their tracks since an elderly person with cognitive problems may be unable to explain to their family that they are suffering from emotional and verbal abuse.
Therefore, verbal abuse can go undetected for a long time. You may wish to spend some time at the nursing home to not only observe your loved one but the facility in general. If you see staff belittling other residents, or shouting at them, you can assume that they treat your loved one in the same humiliating ways when you are not visiting.
Some other signs that could indicate emotional or verbal abuse are:
- Acting agitated or fearful
- A general change in demeanor
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Depression and self-harming
- Problems sleeping
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fear of staff at the nursing home
Verbal and emotional abuse can have devastating consequences on an elder’s mental and physical health. Abuse can be stressful for the elderly and cause depressive symptoms. When an elderly resident is humiliated, belittled, or screamed at on an ongoing basis, their health invariably suffers. They may experience insomnia, or lose their appetite and joy of life, to name just a few consequences. In some cases, this can potentially lead to malnutrition and a general decline in health.
Holding a Nursing Home Accountable
The nursing home is ultimately responsible for the safety and comfort of your loved one and may be liable if your loved one is the victim of abuse at their facility. According to the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, all nursing home residents have the right to be free from abuse and neglect, including emotional and verbal abuse.
A nursing home has to take concrete steps to ensure that residents are free from abuse by staff, other residents, or visitors to the facility.
The nursing home also has the responsibility to ensure that staff is adequately trained and holds the appropriate qualifications for their positions. If the nursing home has been negligent in hiring, for example by not conducting background checks or checking on qualifications, they could be responsible for abuse and neglect of your loved one.
If your relative was abused emotionally or verbally in their care facility, you may have a case. Contact a San Francisco verbal or emotional abuse lawyer as soon as possible to find out what you can do to hold the responsible parties accountable.
For a free legal consultation with an verbal or emotional abuse lawyer serving San Francisco, call (800) 842-6336
Compensation You Could Recover
Depending on your loved one’s injuries and damages, you could receive compensation for medical bills, transportation costs, and the costs for any psychological therapy needed, for example. Potentially, you could also receive awards for any pain and anguish that your loved one endured, whether physical or emotional. If the nursing home acted intentionally harmfully or egregiously in your case, you could also receive punitive damages in addition to any compensatory damages.
Some of these damages can be hard to calculate, especially when dealing with pain and suffering, as there are no dollar amounts associated with these types of non-economic damages. In trying to recover compensation, it may be helpful to have the assistance of a San Francisco verbal or emotional abuse lawyer who can help you build a case against a nursing home.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help Answer Your Legal Questions
If your loved one was verbally or emotionally abused, you do not have to struggle with taking on a nursing home and their team of lawyers by yourself. Contact us today to find out how we can fight for your loved one’s rights and help you with all aspects of a personal injury lawsuit. We do not shy away from tough cases and will work to collect the evidence needed to prove your case, such as medical reports and expert witness testimony.
When you work with us, you do not have to pay any attorney’s fees upfront as we work on contingency only. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now for a free consultation.