There are general tactics that emotionally abusive nursing home employees use to prey upon your loved one’s social, mental, and psychological well-being. Recognizing the warning signs of bad care associated with elder abuse begins with regular observation and investigating your suspicions.
There can be several reasons employees engage in abusive behavior, including mental illness, poor nursing home hiring and management, and workplace burnout. It is also critical to understand that emotional abuse does not limit itself to employees. Other individuals may be responsible.
If your loved one’s emotional safety is a concern, discuss your case with a nursing home abuse lawyer for legal advice.
Tactics That Emotionally Abusive Nursing Home Employees Use
Emotional abuse is hard to detect since it does not leave an outwardly visible injury. It is particularly cruel, considering that we all deserve a right to respect and dignity.
Verbal and emotional, or non-verbal, abuse are two tactics that emotionally abusive nursing home employees may use.
Verbal abuse is when staff members use their words to harm the resident intentionally. Individuals experiencing verbal abuse may exhibit signs of fear, depression, and agitation. A few examples of verbal abuse include:
- Threats and intimidation
- Name-calling and insults
- Yelling and shouting
- Chastising patients in front of others
- Talking down to him or her
- Withdrawing attention
It is crucial to report nursing home employees engaging in abusive behavior immediately. A diligent nursing home management team will investigate the matter and follow up with you.
Emotional abuse also manifests in non-verbal form. Non-verbal emotional abuse affects the resident by causing helplessness, isolation, and fear.
While not all negative, non-verbal cues constitute abuse, a pattern of the following instances may indicate it is happening to your family member:
- Using the silent treatment
- Ignoring him or her
- Social isolation
- Degrading punishments
- Restricting access to basic needs
- Preventing him or her from going outdoors
- Withholding personal care items
If you notice any of these occurrences, isolated or not, you must ask the right questions. Nursing home operators are reluctant to ever admit fault, which means that an in-depth investigation is needed to uncover it. You can also reach out to a nursing home abuse lawyer to further investigate your observations about emotionally abusive nursing home employees.
Why Staff Members Engage in Emotional Abuse
There is no excusing why nursing home staff members engage in emotional or psychological abuse. However, research demonstrates that it is prevalent and widespread across the country.
Here are a few reasons why staff members engage in emotional abuse:
- Personal mental health issues: The people caring for your loved one are only as strong as their mental capacities and emotional intelligence levels. Some staff members use emotional abuse as a way to channel and justify their internal turmoil.
- Lack of proper and ongoing training: Ongoing staff training is essential to a nursing home that seeks to meet its general duty of care toward residents. Emotional intelligence training and constructive, individualized feedback is an integral part of preventing emotional abuse.
- Poorly managed facilities: Staff members take cues from their managers. If the facility is poorly operated and maintained, the quality of life for residents will suffer. Management must behave as an exemplary model for employees to mirror. Hiring practices at many for-profit and chain nursing homes are also poorly overseen, as these facilities prefer to hire less-educated staff for lower wages.
- Staff shortages: It is no secret that there is a significant disparity in the number of qualified staff members compared to the need in nursing home environments. Overworked and underpaid team members tend to exhibit signs of stress, such as emotional abuse, more often than those who feel supported at work.
While the above list primarily relates to the issues that employees face, other individuals may cause it as well. Volunteers, nursing home residents, and vendors are all capable of inflicting emotional abuse upon residents.
A nursing home abuse lawyer will investigate all relevant parties, whether they work there or not.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm If You Suspect Emotional Abuse Is Happening
Nursing home employees inflicting emotional abuse on your loved one is unacceptable. Holding parties responsible for their actions may provide the consequences that prevent this behavior from occurring again while at the same time asserting your right to compensation.
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is ready to stand by your side as you pursue a claim against a nursing home facility where employees are being emotionally abusive. You can talk with a legal professional about your case to determine your options through a free consultation. At our firm, we work on a contingency fee basis, which means you only pay us when you receive compensation. Contact us today by calling (800) 842-6336.