Emotional Abuse: The Most Common Form of Nursing Home Neglect to Watch For

August 31, 2022by LegalASAP

Elders deserve respect and proper care. Unfortunately, elderly abuse and nursing home neglect are tragic realities across the country. One of the most common forms, emotional abuse, is also known as a silent killer for the harm it can cause elders. This post will discuss the signs of emotional abuse and how a nursing home neglect attorney can help families pursue justice. 

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What is emotional abuse?

Ten percent of elders aged sixty-five or older will experience some form of elder abuse in any year. When we think of nursing home neglect cases and abuse, most people think of physical injuries. Emotional abuse is one of the most common forms of nursing home abuse. It can include both verbal and non-verbal behavior. 

Emotional abuse occurs when a caregiver or resident deliberately uses actions, verbal insults, or threats to control a person. 

It can include things like:

  • yelling, shouting, or screaming at a resident;
  • threatening a resident;
  • intimidation;
  • name-calling or insulting their appearance;
  • talking down to the resident;
  • embarrassing the resident in front of others;
  • isolating or ignoring the resident;
  • mean behavior toward the resident;
  • blaming the resident or making them feel guilty.

Emotional abuse is not always deliberate and can result from overworked and stressed staff. If unsure, a nursing home neglect lawyer can review your case and advise you on the best course of action. 

How emotional abuse affects elderly adults

If an elder is experiencing emotional abuse, they may start showing changes in their behavior. These can include increased agitation, nervousness, fear, depression, or sadness.  

Emotional abuse can cause elders to develop long-term mental-health issues. They may feel fear, anxiety, depression, and even anguish. Emotional abuse can also lead to social isolation, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These issues can also affect other severe health conditions, giving it the name “the silent killer.”

Why it isn’t easy to prove

Other forms of abuse, such as physical or financial abuse, may leave visible signs or a paper trail of evidence. Proving emotional abuse can be challenging because there are often no outward signs. This is especially true if the resident has cognitive impairment or memory issues. People using emotionally abusive behavior can take advantage of a resident’s confusion and use it to keep them from reporting the abuse. 

Do you suspect your elderly relatives are victims? 

Have you noticed recent changes in your loved one’s behavior? Do you have concerns about emotional abuse or nursing home neglect? If so, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what’s happening in the nursing home. Is this a nursing home neglect case where the home is short-staffed? Have you seen or heard any indication of emotional abuse?

If you care for an elder, pay attention to how they react to your care when you visit. Suppose you’re there to witness verbally abusive behavior toward an elder. In that case, you should alert the nursing home staff, and it may be time to start searching for a “nursing home neglect lawyer near me.” 

How nursing home neglect lawyers can help 

You need to speak up if you suspect your loved one is experiencing emotional abuse or nursing home neglect. Get in touch with an experienced nursing home neglect attorney in your area. Emotional abuse is never OK.  

LegalASAP can connect you with our network of trustworthy nursing home neglect lawyers. They can review your case and help you and your family get the help you need. Contact LegalASAP today and take our free evaluation to see if you may qualify.

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