How Does Emotional Abuse Happen in Nursing Homes?
Residents in nursing homes depend on the care of the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff members in the facility. Some nursing home residents have diminished cognitive abilities and so, they are not aware that they are being treated unfairly by these individuals. Residents who do know they are not receiving fair treatment may be hesitant to report it.
Of all the different types of abuse that happens in nursing homes, emotional abuse is the most common. In fact, 33.4 percent of nursing home residents experience this type of abuse at some point, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. Below, our Knoxville nursing home malpractice attorney explains this type of abuse further.
Common Types of Nursing Home Emotional Abuse
Emotional abuse can take verbal and nonverbal forms in nursing homes. This type of abuse leads to long-term damage to a resident’s mental health and can cause them real anguish. Some of the most common types of nursing home emotional abuse are as follows:
- Intimidating residents
- Threatening to withhold food or water
- Isolating residents from visitors
- Isolating residents from social activities within the facility
- Terrorizing or menacing a resident
- Ridiculing and insulting patients
- Yelling or shouting at patients
- Ignoring patients or giving them the silent treatment
When nursing home patients experience any type of emotional abuse, they often do not know how to stop it from occurring.
Common Signs of Nursing Home Emotional Abuse
It is often critical that family members and friends of nursing home residents know the signs of nursing home emotional abuse. Patients themselves do not always understand when it is occurring, so loved ones must remain vigilant. The most common signs of nursing home emotional abuse include:
- Withdrawal, refusing to interact or speak to other people
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior
- Unusual behaviors including rocking, sucking, or biting
- Lack of sleep or insomnia
- Excessive fear or nervousness
- Refusal to eat or take medications
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden and dramatic weight loss
Who is Most at Risk for Nursing Home Emotional Abuse?
Any nursing home patient can become the victim of emotional abuse while in the facility. Still, there are certain factors that place some residents at greater risk than others. These individuals are those who:
- Suffer from mental or physical impairments
- Are divorced or separated
- Are of a certain race
- Have a low income
- Have an increased need for help with basic daily tasks
Our Nursing Home Malpractice Attorney in Knoxville Can Help Your Family
No one wants to think about it but nursing home emotional abuse is quite common. If your loved one has suffered harm due to this type of abuse, our Knoxville nursing home malpractice attorney at Atkins Brezina, PLLC, can help you make it right. We work with an MD/JD on all malpractice cases so you obtain the legal and medical advice you need, and to help prove your case. Call us today at 865-500-3121 or get in touch with us online to request a free consultation and to learn more.