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Can You Spot Emotional Elder Abuse?

Personal Injury Lawyer

A nursing home should be a safe environment for you to place your elderly loved ones when you are no longer able to care for them. However, you may find that after some time of residing in a nursing home, your loved one begins to act differently. Perhaps they seem distant and withdrawn or lash out more than they normally would. Elder abuse can be one reason for behavior changes and it is imperative that you know which signs to be on the lookout for. You may think that your loved one would have obvious signs of abuse: you look for bruises, cuts, or malnourishment. However, emotional and psychological abuse presents differently. 

Understanding Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes

If you are not familiar with emotional and psychological abuse, you may have no idea it is occurring because the signs and symptoms are not as clear. Elderly residents at nursing homes are prime targets for this type of abuse because the aggressor needs to hold a certain amount of power over them. The most common relationship that displays this type of abuse is the caregiver-patient relationship. This type of abuse may come in the form of:

  • Ignoring or neglecting the patient’s needs
  • Keeping the patient away from visitors and loved ones
  • Ensuring the patient is isolated from visitors or other patients within the facility
  • Blaming the elderly patient for their circumstances or their health condition
  • Verbally abusing or humiliating the elderly patient in private or in front of others 

What signs can you look out for? 

When this type of abuse occurs, it may not be obvious as you are visiting your loved one. That is why it is important to know which signs to look out for to ensure your loved one is safe. Some signs of emotional abuse are: 

  • Self-harm
  • Rocking or repetitive motions
  • Mumbling or talking to themselves
  • Grinding their teeth
  • Feelings of paranoia
  • Feelings of confusion
  • Becoming depressed or anxious
  • Mentioning feelings of low self-esteem

Spotting any of these signs is the first step in helping your loved one. You should move them to a safe place as quickly as possible and consider filing a lawsuit to recover compensation for the pain they have suffered. You could recover compensation for the expenses it takes to relocate them to a safe place, the trauma they have experienced and subsequent therapy, and their pain and suffering.  

When considering a lawsuit, you may wish to arm yourself with an attorney, like a nursing home abuse lawyer from John K. Zaid & Associates. Working with an attorney throughout this process can give you peace of mind that you are not only in good hands, but that you are able to focus on getting your loved one into a safe place. If you are ready to move forward with a lawsuit, contact a local law firm you can trust and get started with your consultation.

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