It is important to know the signs of emotional abuse in elderly people so that you can help your loved one leave an abusive situation as soon as possible. Emotional abuse can be difficult to pinpoint, and the American Society on Aging says there are often overlaps between the “physical or concrete and behavioral” symptoms.
If your loved one in a nursing home is suffering from emotional abuse, you should seek legal representation for them immediately. A Savannah verbal or emotional abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can evaluate your case and help you form an applicable lawsuit. Call our offices now to speak with a member of our team about your case.
Freedom From Abuse in Nursing Homes
Your loved one is entitled to freedom from abuse in a nursing home facility from the first day they arrive. Federal law prohibits “abuse, neglect, and exploitation” as a foundational rule of nursing home regulation. In addition, nursing homes may not employ or engage individuals with a history of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Nursing home staff must be appropriately trained in the treatment of all nursing home residents in order to guarantee and protect these rights. Finally, in the event of abuse regardless of these laws, you and your loved one are entitled to the right to report any violations of your loved one’s rights.
As physical, mental, emotional, and psychosocial health needs will vary from resident to resident, your loved one’s care should be highly individual. This can be a difficult standard for nursing homes to fully maintain, as they are often understaffed and the existing staff may face an overwhelming amount of responsibility at work. However, that does not excuse anyone from emotionally abusing your loved one: even unintentional neglect impacts your loved one negatively, and can be considered a violation of their rights. A Savannah verbal or emotional abuse lawyer can interpret the difference between potential abuse or neglect in your loved one’s nursing home. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation with our legal team to discuss your loved one’s case.
Protection From Undue Influence
According to the American Bar Association (ABA), nursing home residents can be subject to undue influence, or the use of “power to exploit the trust, dependency, and fear of others.” A nursing home may “use this power to deceptively gain control over the decision-making” of your loved one. This concept is key to the way that emotional abuse functions: When your loved one is emotionally abused, the perpetrator gains influence and power to change the way your loved one thinks about themselves, their family, and their life in a nursing home.
Undue influence and other forms of emotional abuse can be used against nursing home residents who are deemed to have “decision-making capacity,” but the ABA says “it is easier to commit undue influence on someone who has a diminished capacity.” When it comes to undue influence, your loved one may be emotionally manipulated to side with the abuser without recognizing what is happening. No matter your loved one’s decision-making capacity, unfair treatment like abuse violates the rights your loved one was entitled to from their first day living in the nursing home.
Signs of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Home Residents
Emotional abuse does not tend to result in physical scarring or injuries on its own. However, there are some physical and social signs of emotional abuse that you can look out for in a loved one who is living in a nursing home. The American Society on Aging says a person suffering emotional abuse experiences “insults, threats, intimidation, and humiliation or harassment,” causing distress in the nursing home, and may show the following signs of emotional abuse:
- Sudden behavioral changes: Increased irritability or apathy, especially around a specific individual, can be a warning sign you should not ignore
- Regression: Unusual changes like “sucking, rocking, or even biting” can be indicative of emotional abuse.
- Psychosomatic complaints: Complaining of frequent headaches or stomach aches can be an involuntary response to abuse.
- Verbally expressing suffering: Your loved one may attempt to communicate their suffering by explaining it to you.
The list of warning signs is not exhaustive of the many ways someone can voluntarily or involuntarily communicate that abuse is going on. Even when abuse is not obvious, a Savannah verbal or emotional abuse lawyer can investigate the quality of your loved one’s living situation as soon as you begin working with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Legal Cases Against Nursing Home Emotional Abuse
While emotional abuse may not seem to have effects that immediately require medical attention, the devastation from being emotionally abused and the care required to heal from it are significant. Not only is your elderly loved one more vulnerable to damage from any kind of abuse, every resource needed to recover from it, from social support to therapy and treatment of other underlying issues, is precious.
Our lawyers can help you file a report with the Savannah Adult Protective Services, who can investigate and bring in law enforcement if necessary. Potential criminal cases concerning emotional abuse may include but are not limited to: elder abuse, hate crimes, and/or harassment. We can coordinate with Adult Protective Services to manage your loved one’s case, making sure they are taken care of in the meantime.
Do not worry about legal costs for getting help with protecting your loved one from emotional abuse. Our lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, so we do not collect any money until we get you and your loved one a settlement that covers your expenses.
For a free legal consultation with a Savannah Verbal or Emotional Abuse Lawyer serving Savannah, call (800) 794-0444
Let Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Handle Every Aspect of Your Case
Since navigating elder abuse legislation requires an understanding of civil and criminal state and federal laws, it can be difficult to do without the facilitation of a lawyer. A Savannah verbal or emotional abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you explore all of your legal options, explaining all of the information you need to know along the way.
We encourage you to give us a call for a free consultation about your case so you can bring your loved one’s emotional abuse and suffering to justice.