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What does emotional abuse in a nursing home look like?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2024 | Firm News

About 81% of nursing home staff in the United States had witnessed emotional abuse in their career, according to a National Council on Aging survey. This alarming statistic underscores the rampant prevalence of elder abuse in the country, particularly in health care settings.

Emotional abuse can manifest in several ways. These may include verbal abuse, which often involves yelling, threats or humiliation. Meanwhile, some victims face nonverbal mental abuse, which could consist of isolation or limiting their access to necessities like food, water or bathroom facilities.

Although less visible than physical abuse, the effects of emotional abuse can be just as damaging to the elderly residents of a nursing home. Recognizing the signs can be a vital first step in protecting your loved one from harm. Here is a breakdown of the significant red flags to look out for.

Unusual behaviors

Emotional abuse can manifest in an individual’s physical behaviors. Unusual actions like mumbling, rocking or thumb-sucking are often coping mechanisms for dealing with stress or trauma.

Sudden mood changes

One of the most significant red flags of nursing home abuse is a sudden and unexplained change in the resident’s mood. Elderly residents who experience mental or emotional abuse may exhibit signs of depression or anxiousness. Additionally, they could show a sudden lack of interest in social activities they used to enjoy or show a general withdrawal from interactions.

Anxiety around staff

Abusers often use fear and intimidation to control their victims. This type of abuse can make an elderly resident feel scared or extremely anxious around these people. If you suspect that a loved one might be suffering from abuse, it would be wise to pay attention to how they react to different caregivers in the nursing home.

Nursing home abuse is a grave national issue that affects the most vulnerable members of the community. Taking immediate action upon observing these signs is crucial in protecting and preserving nursing home residents’ rights and quality of life.