Featured News 2016 A Closer Look at Emotional Abuse

A Closer Look at Emotional Abuse

Even though a caregiver may not physically hit an elderly resident at a nursing home, it does not mean the resident isn't being abused. Elderly victims of emotional or psychological abuse know that they are being mentally tortured, but they may not realize that there's a name for it – emotional abuse.

Unfortunately, emotional abuse is very real in the nursing home setting. Much like physical and sexual abuse, its effects can be devastating, especially for elderly individuals who are entirely dependent on caregivers for feeding, bathing, and housekeeping.

While the possibilities are endless, some examples of emotional abuse, include:

  • Common bullying of the resident
  • Calling the resident names
  • Manipulating and controlling the resident
  • Belittling and making jokes at the resident's expense
  • Making threats against the resident
  • Laughing at the resident when they are undressed
  • Making fun of the resident
  • Barring the resident from partaking in social activities with fellow residents
  • Barring the resident from doing the reasonable things he or she wants to do

Can you imagine being a resident who is subjected to emotional abuse day in and day out by your caregivers and having to depend on these individuals for your every need? It's like having to constantly rely on a person of poor moral character who wants to harm you.

Often, victims of emotional abuse are in a constant state of fear and anxiety, which can be detrimental to their health. Emotional abuse is humiliating and it can affect everything from appetite, to blood pressure, to mood, and emotional stability in already vulnerable residents.

Often, when family visits an elderly relative in a nursing home, they miss the telltale signs of emotional abuse. Since they do not see any bruising and the resident's room looks clean, they don't suspect psychological abuse. But in reality, the victim is consumed with depression, humiliation, and isolation. Family members must pay attention to their loved one's mood and outward disposition, they cannot rely on the caregiver's reports.

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of emotional abuse at the hands of their caregivers, please contact a nursing home abuse attorney for professional legal help.

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