What You Should Know About Psychological Abuse in Nursing Homes
Elderly nursing home residents largely rely on caregivers and facility staff to help them through their day-to-day life, as they can no longer take care of themselves alone. Unfortunately, this may make them an easy target for abuse and neglect. Nursing home abuse can manifest in a variety of different ways, some of the most common signs being physical, such as unexplained bruising, rapid weight loss or gain, or negative changes in their environment.
Psychological abuse in nursing homes, however, is a much more covert issue that can harm an elderly resident just as much. This form of abuse often flies under the radar due to its lack of tangible evidence and various manipulation tactics. If your loved one is currently living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it is important to be able to recognize psychological and emotional abuse so it can be addressed and reported as soon as possible.
What Are Forms of Psychological Abuse?
Common examples of nursing home emotional and psychological abuse include:
- Isolation from peers and visitors
- Being ignored by caregivers
- Exclusion from activities
- Threats by caregivers
What To Look Out For
There are a few signs that could indicate that your loved one is suffering psychological abuse, including:
- Typical signs of dementia such as rocking, mumbling, biting or sucking
- Social withdrawal
- Lack of communication
- Anxiety or depression
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- Sudden or random agitation or aggression
These signs are typically triggered by the resident’s internalization of the events and inability to speak up for themselves.
Who Is Most At-Risk For Nursing Home Psychological Abuse?
Psychological abuse in nursing homes are typically rooted in an abuse of power from a staff member over the resident. There are certain vulnerable residents who are especially at risk, including:
- Those over 75
- Those experiencing memory issues or cognitive decline
- Those who have difficulting socializing or communicating with others
- Those with long-term disabling health conditions such as paralysis or dementia
When Should I Hire An Attorney?
More often than not, nursing home residents are either too afraid or too impaired to speak up in the event of caregiver abuse and neglect. If you feel that your loved one is in imminent danger, contact law enforcement immediately.
If you suspect that they are being neglected or abused, contact the corporation that oversees the facility. If nothing materializes and the issues persist, you should hire a lawyer. At The Goss Law Firm, we have ensured that our elderly population’s rights are protected, and are treated with dignity and respect. Do you believe you have a nursing home abuse case? Call our office toll-free at 816-888-5000 or submit a form on our website for a free consultation today.