What are signs of emotional abuse among nursing home residents?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that at least 1.4 million individuals across the United States reside at nursing homes. Of those who do, at least 80 percent are 65-years-old or older. The fact that so many residents are of an advanced age means that a significant number of them require additional daily medical attention to get by.

While many of these nursing homes are equipped to provide a high quality of care for these individuals, in the media, we often hear of the few bad apples that spoil the rest of the bunch. When a facility like this does make the headlines, they often do so because staff members engaged in either abusing or neglecting its residents.

Some of the worst types of cases that we rarely hear about because they leave no physical scars behind are ones involving psychological or emotional abuse. These can leave residents plagued with a sense of pain, suffering, distress or anguish. These types of feelings can be brought about by either a caretaker actually committing a voluntary act to control how a resident feels or by simply taking no action to support his or her needs.

Other ways in which nursing home workers have been known to emotionally abuse their residents include shouting at them or verbally intimidating them. Poorly trained staff have also been known to threaten individuals with isolation, having privileges removed or physical harm for not doing as they say as well.

Nursing home workers who either refuse to listen to or interact with residents can also fall into the category of being emotionally abusive. So too can those who talk back or down at residents.

Some warning signs your loved one may display if he or she is being emotionally abused include changes in his or her personality. If your loved one becomes increasingly upset, agitated or withdrawn, especially in social settings, then he or she may have been emotionally abused.

If your loved one engages in new behaviors like rocking back and forth or nailbiting or experiences changes in sleep or eating patterns, then this may indicate that something is wrong.

Each year, countless individuals are exposed to emotional abuse at the hands of their caregivers in nursing homes. If you suspect that your mom or dad has been poorly treated themselves, then a Tucson attorney can advise you of legal avenues that can be pursued in your case.

Source: Baltimore Post-Examiner, "Emotional abuse in nursing homes," David Jackson, accessed June 01, 2018

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