Emotional abuse can be hard to detect. It typically does not leave any noticeable signs on the body—unlike physical abuse, which often leaves bruises or fractures. Noticing a change in your loved one could be the only sign of emotional abuse. Sometimes, talking to your loved one about the nursing home and caregivers can help you discover whether they suffer from emotional abuse, or it can offer clues pointing to abuse. Pay close attention to your relative, especially if they are cognitively impaired or nonverbal and unable to tell you about any abuse.
If you suspect your loved one has suffered emotional abuse from nursing home staff, you may want to contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free case evaluation with a member of our New York City emotional abuse lawyer team. We can fight for your loved one’s rights and may be able to get the compensation they deserve.
Types of Emotional Abuse
Statistics regarding elder abuse are concerning for anyone with a loved one in a nursing home. Approximately one in 10 Americans over the age of 60 have suffered some type of abuse, and 21 percent of abuse complaints in U.S. nursing homes were for psychological abuse.
Studies show that the elderly living in long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect, as most suffer from diseases and cognitive limitations that make them dependent on others. Elderly nursing home residents may also be unable to report the abuse or frightened that reporting the abuse will provoke retaliation.
Some examples of emotional abuse in the nursing home can include:
- Speaking harshly or making threats
- Ignoring a resident’s requests
- Intimidating and humiliating a resident
- Isolating a resident or excluding them from activities
There can be other ways in which an elderly person is emotionally abused in a nursing home. This type of abuse is no less damaging than physical abuse, and it can be heartbreaking to see your loved one sad and frustrated due to emotional abuse.
Signs of Emotional Abuse
A sign that something may not be right with your loved one can be a marked change in personality for no apparent reason. They might be more withdrawn or seem depressed or frightened. Sometimes, an emotionally abused older person loses weight, since abuse can affect their appetite. They might also be afraid of staff and be quiet or avoid eye contact when a caregiver enters the room. You might notice your loved one argues more than usual with their caregiver. The abuser could also try to stop you from being alone in the room with your loved one.
While observing these signs does not necessarily mean your loved one suffers from emotional abuse, they are warning signs you should take seriously. If you notice any concrete signs of neglect or abuse of your loved one in the nursing home, it is time to act.
The first steps after finding out your loved one is suffering from emotional abuse are to remove them from the home and report the abuse to the authorities. You might also want to contact a New York City emotional abuse lawyer to find out if you have legal recourse.
If you suspect or know your loved one is suffering from emotional abuse, help is available and your loved one could receive compensation. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for your free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with a New York City Emotional Abuse Lawyer serving New York City, call (800) 842-6336
The Effects of Emotional Abuse on the Elderly
The effects of nursing home abuse can be devastating to elderly residents. Studies show that abuse and neglect in nursing homes is associated with an increased risk in mortality, as well as serious health problems. If an elderly person suffers from prolonged emotional abuse, they can develop depression and withdraw from social activities—even their loved ones.
Existing health problems can also worsen because of emotional abuse. The psychological effects of abuse can have an effect on the entire body. If the elderly person is constantly unhappy, depressed, and fearful, they may suffer from insomnia or lose their appetite. Depression can also increase the risk of chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
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The Nursing Home Could Be Liable
There are various federal and state laws that govern nursing homes. In New York state, nursing home residents have certain rights, including:
- Being treated with dignity and respect
- Quality care and treatment
- Freedom from any type of abuse
- Being able to exercise their rights without fear of reprisals
A nursing home is responsible to ensure that no emotional abuse takes place in their facility. The nursing home is also responsible for vetting and training staff appropriately to ensure residents’ safety and well-being. The overall responsibility to provide an environment free of abuse rests with the nursing home. Generally, a facility can be held liable for any abuse that occurs on their property.
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Your Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help
Proving emotional abuse can be tricky, and you may feel hesitant to take on a nursing home by yourself. While legal action can be a big step, you do not have to fight the emotional abuse of your loved one alone. Reporting the abuse and finding out about legal options can help you and your loved one.
You could receive compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering. as well as for any medical bills incurred because of emotional abuse. Moreover, reporting the abuse can help other residents who could also be in danger at the facility.
You can contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and speak with a member of our New York City emotional abuse lawyer team about whether you could file a personal injury lawsuit and get justice for your loved one. We can offer you a free no-obligation consultation to determine if you have a case and help you weigh your options. There is no risk for you as we work on contingency and do not charge any fees upfront.