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Emotional Abuse

Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

emotional abuse - nursing home abuseWith more nursing homes and other assisted living facilities popping up every year as more and more baby boomers age and retire, abuse of the elderly in nursing homes has become a major issue in the United States.  Nursing home abuse persists in many different forms, including physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, neglect or negligence, medical errors, and prescription errors.  However, one of the most common forms of nursing home abuse is emotional abuse, which is also referred to as psychological abuse.  Often times, emotional abuse goes along with the other forms of abuse, like physical abuse, as an ancillary side effect.  Unfortunately, emotional abuse in nursing homes is also probably the most difficult form of abuse to spot.

Emotional abuse in nursing homes occurs when a member of the nursing home staff, volunteer, other resident, or visiting family member or friend acts in a way that causes the elderly resident to suffer any sort of emotional anguish or distress such as nervousness, fear, or sadness.  If you or a family member experienced emotional abuse, also referred to as psychological abuse, while resident in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys of Abbott Law Group today to discuss your legal rights.

Types of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is often difficult for family members of a resident to identify because there aren’t always physical signs of a resident’s emotional distress.  Regardless, it is helpful for family members to understand some of the forms or types of emotional abuse that come about in nursing homes.  Some of these types include:

  • Constant ridicule of a resident;
  • Purposely humiliating a resident;
  • Intimidating a resident by threatening or yelling at him or her;
  • Keeping a resident in isolation or seclusion from others for long periods of time;
  • Excluding a resident from group activities;
  • Neglecting or simply ignoring a resident;
  • Psychologically manipulating a resident;
  • Mocking a resident or any other sort of disparaging behavior;
  • Name-calling or insulting a resident;
  • Blaming a resident for things that are not his or her fault.

As one can see, emotional abuse can include verbal and nonverbal acts toward a resident.  These acts are most often committed by members of the nursing home staff or other residents of the home, but they can also be committed by volunteers or visiting family members.

Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse

As stated above, emotional abuse in nursing homes is typically the most difficult form of abuse to identify because of the lack of warning signs.  Physical abuse often carries with it visible marks and injuries, but emotional abuse often does not.  However, the effects of emotional abuse of an elderly nursing home resident can manifest in the form of personality changes.  For example, a resident that was once very friendly and personable may suddenly become withdrawn or isolate himself after experiencing emotional abuse.  In other cases, a resident may become malnourished or dehydrated because his or her mental anguish causes a lack of appetite or willingness to stay healthy.  If you happen to spot any of these warning signs of emotional abuse, contact a nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible.

Nursing Home Emotional Abuse Lawsuit

If you or a family member were emotionally abused while residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the home or facility.  Through an emotional abuse lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation from the nursing home or assisted living facility.  Contact the nursing home abuse lawyers of Abbott Law Group today to determine if you may be legally entitled to compensation.