Emotional Abuse of the Elderly

About Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

Even non-physical abuse can have serious consequences for an elderly patient of an assisted living facility or nursing home. Emotional abuse, such as verbal threats, insults or harassment, may lead to lasing psychological distress and feelings of depression, withdrawal and apathy. If you suspect that an elderly loved one has been victimized by this form of nursing home abuse, it's time to take action. You may be able to take legal action with the help of a nursing home abuse lawyer, not only holding the accountable caregiver or facility legally responsible but protecting your loved one from further abuse.

Emotional Abuse Defined
Emotional or psychological abuse may be described as inflicting pain or distress on another person through verbal or other non-physical means. This may include name calling, humiliation, embarrassment, harassment, yelling and insults. Isolation may be considered another form of emotional abuse. When this type of abuse occurs in a nursing home, it may have serious consequences for the elderly victim.

Consequences of Emotional Abuse
Emotional elder abuse often involves a number of acts committed against a victim over a long period of time. A victim of abuse may be left feeling unloved, untrusting, insignificant, depressed and withdrawn and may even be left feeling as though they were to blame and deserved punishment of some kind.

Some of the signs you can look for in regard to emotional abuse may include sudden changes in behavior, fear or withdrawal from a certain caregiver, depression and apathy. Unusual behavior, such as rocking or biting may also be a sign of emotional abuse.

What should I do if I suspect emotional elder abuse is occurring?

Becoming educated on the types of emotional elder abuse, the signs of this type of abuse and your legal rights is an important step to take in the fight against nursing home abuse across the U.S. Increased awareness means that you will be better prepared to identify abuse for what it is. Nursing homes are required to provide, in writing, the steps you can take if you suspect abuse or ill treatment. You can report any incidents to your local Adult Protective Services agency and can also call 911 if you believe that your loved one's safety is in immediate danger.

Another helpful step to take is to involve an attorney. A legal professional who is familiar with nursing home abuse cases can help you take action to remove your elderly loved one from the care of the facility where the abuse is occurring or can determine how to have the at-fault caregiver removed so your loved one is no longer in danger. You can also find out about your options in suing the facility.

If you suspect emotional abuse, find a nursing home abuse lawyerin your area.