Psychological Nursing Home Abuse - Consumer Justice Foundation

Psychological Nursing Home Abuse

Written by Faith Anderson on July 30, 2013
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Psychological Nursing Home Abuse

Psychological nursing home abuse can result in life-changing consequences for elderly individuals. If you suspect a loved one has been victimized by his or her caregiver, contact a nursing home abuse attorney today.

Nursing home abuse is becoming a serious problem in this country, affecting one to two million individuals over 65 in the United States. There are a number of different types of nursing home abuse perpetrated against elderly individuals, including physical and psychological, or emotional, abuse. Although psychological nursing home abuse may not result in visible injuries like physical abuse often does, the consequences resulting from being the victim of psychological abuse can be just as damaging. Major signs of nursing home abuse include tension or frequent arguments between staff members and residents, and changes in personality or behavior in the elderly individual. Nursing home staff members are entrusted with the care of elderly individuals on a daily basis, and there is no justification for treating residents in such a way that goes against their obligation to provide elders with an adequate standard of care. If you suspect that a loved one has been the victim of psychological nursing home abuse, contact a nursing home abuse attorney immediately.

Types of Psychological Nursing Home Abuse

Psychological abuse is an extremely serious form of nursing home abuse, sometimes resulting in long-term consequences like low self-esteem, depression and withdrawal from daily life. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding nursing home abuse, there is no reason for staff members to take advantage of their power, using it to inflict emotional harm upon an elderly charge. Although some nursing homes are afflicted by lack of funds, inadequate staffing and overflow of residents, nursing home abuse should never be tolerated.

Emotional Nursing Home Abuse

Emotional nursing home abuse occurs when a caregiver treats an elderly individual in a way that is meant to cause distress or emotional pain. Examples of emotional nursing home abuse include isolating the elder from friends, family members or activities, terrorizing or menacing the resident, and ignoring the elderly individual. Emotional abuse may also include emotional threats intended to keep the resident quiet, especially if the elder witnesses abuse perpetrated against another resident, or emotional manipulation, in which a resident is manipulated by the staff member into acting a certain way, so as to makes things easier for the staff member.

Verbal Nursing Home Abuse

Verbal degradation is an all-too-common occurrence in nursing homes, often resulting from frustration on the part of the staff member. Verbal nursing home abuse typically involves a staff member speaking to a resident in a way that causes emotional pain or distress. Common examples of verbal abuse include intimidation through yelling or threats, habitual blaming or scapegoating, and humiliation and ridicule. Verbal abuse may also include sarcastic remarks made about the resident’s disabilities, including failure to control bodily functions.

Signs and Symptoms of Psychological Abuse

In some cases, the warning signs of psychological nursing home abuse may be passed off as signs of old age or dementia, which is a main reason why so many instances of nursing home abuse go unreported. Common signs of psychological nursing home abuse include:

  • Anxiety or depression
  • Mood swings
  • Withdrawal
  • Low self-esteem
  • Abnormal behaviors like rocking, biting or sucking
  • Unexplained confusion
  • Involuntary seclusion

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney For Help

No one should be victimized by another individual, especially if that individual is responsible for the victim’s daily care and well-being. Unfortunately, elder abuse perpetrated by caregivers is a common issue affecting American seniors, resulting in the abuse of tens of thousands of elderly adults in the U.S. If you or a loved one has been the victim of psychological nursing home abuse, legal help is available. Contact a skilled nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your legal options, as you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Too often, nursing home abuse goes unreported, due mostly to victims’ fears of retaliation by caregivers. By hiring a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer to represent your case, you can pursue fair and timely reimbursement and protect your legal rights throughout the process.

Posted Under: Elder Abuse
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