Elder abuse occurs throughout the United States. Per the National Institute on Aging (NIA), hundreds of thousands of seniors will face some form of abuse every year. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) puts that number at roughly ten percent of all elderly adults. While some allegations of nursing home abuse center on physical violence or injury, the emotional scars of psychological abuse can also have a significant impact on a victim.
Every nursing home has a duty to protect its residents from harm. This includes the damaging impact of emotional abuse. The psychological impact of this form of trauma is especially difficult for nursing home residents that could be dealing with other cognitive issues.
If your loved one has suffered emotional abuse at a nursing home, do not hesitate to contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm as soon as possible. By working with a Louisiana emotional abuse lawyer, you could give your loved one the chance to recover compensation. To learn more, call (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free consultation.
Understanding Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse—also referred to as psychological abuse—involves any form of harmful verbal or non-verbal acts. This form of abuse can cause feelings of depression, angst, fear, embarrassment, or isolation.
Emotional abuse comes in varying forms. It could include a threat of physical violence. It could also involve threats of isolating a resident or withholding food or other basic needs. Emotional abuse also comes in the form of ridiculing a resident or intimidating them. In addition, this form of abuse can include a caretaker ignoring a resident entirely or using loud, aggressive language.
Sometimes, a nursing home staff member can isolate the resident from the others. While some forms of emotional abuse involve statements or acts intended to hurt or embarrass a nursing home resident, isolating a resident is a less direct effort. In fact, isolation could involve taking steps to prevent the friends and family of a resident from visiting. In some cases, a resident might not be aware of these efforts. Isolating a nursing home resident from their family, friends, and support network can have severe consequences.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse does not leave any visible injuries or scars. This can make it more difficult to identify than obvious acts of physical abuse. That said, the need to identify the signs of emotional abuse is crucial, given the serious impact it can have on a nursing home resident. Keep the following signs of emotional abuse in mind when interacting with your loved one:
- Diminished self-esteem. Emotional abuse can take a toll on even the most optimistic and upbeat individuals. If your family member seems much less self-confident or self-assured than usual, they may be experiencing some form of emotional abuse.
- Personality changes. Mood swings and long-term personality changes are another common sign of emotional abuse. If these changes are otherwise unexplained, it could be worth addressing them with your loved one.
- Depression. The impact of emotional abuse can send seniors into depression. Any elderly family member that seems detached and forlorn could be facing some form of emotional abuse.
- Fear. Another factor among emotionally abused nursing home residents is fear. In some cases, these forms of abuse involve threats of violence or other harsh consequences. Residents could fear their abusive caretaker to the point that it renders them unable to talk about them at all.
- Eye contact avoidance. Emotional abuse victims can feel shame or embarrassment. This can lead them to suddenly stop making eye contact with you, your family, and others. If this is out of character for your loved one, it could be a sign of abuse.
Despite the hardships of facing emotional abuse, the reality of the situation is that some nursing home residents never report it. Some residents fear their caretakers and do not want to face reprisal. Others face cognitive limitations that make it difficult to communicate. No matter the reason, it is incumbent on the nursing home facility to protect residents against emotionally abusive behavior.
If the administration and staff of a nursing home have failed to protect your family member from emotional abuse, you have the right to pursue legal action. The attorneys of Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help. To learn more about our legal services, call us today.
Statute of Limitations in Louisiana
It is important that you act quickly to file your lawsuit. Under Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §9:5628, there is a one-year time limit to file. If you are too late, then you risk not being able to file your lawsuit at all. In turn, your loved one may not be able to receive financial awards. A Louisiana emotional abuse lawyer can help you meet the one-year deadline.
The Benefits of a Free Consultation
These claims can be complex, and dealing with the needs of an emotionally abused family member is never easy. The good news is that the initial consultation is always free at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
This allows you to ask any questions you might have about your loved one’s claim or their chances of success. At the end of the consultation, your loved one is under no obligation to choose our firm.
Your Loved One Could Obtain a Monetary Award Due to Emotional Abuse
Do not allow your loved one’s emotional abuse to go unpunished. By filing a civil lawsuit against the abuser and the facility that allowed it to occur, you could find a measure of justice for your family member. Additionally, you could recover a monetary award for your loved one’s losses stemming from the abuse.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you look at your legal options. Call (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free consultation with a Louisiana emotional abuse lawyer today.