Knoxville Verbal Abuse Attorney
Verbal abuse is a considerable problem in nursing homes. Unlike physical abuse, the scars caused by verbal abuse might remain hidden. However, over time, any resident suffering from verbal abuse can become sick and suffer emotional problems.
Atkins Brezina, PLLC PLLC stands ready to assist any nursing home resident or their family members seek justice for abuse. Our Knoxville nursing home verbal abuse attorney can request compensation and have your loved one moved to a safer home. Please reach out to us today.
Examples of Verbal Abuse
A resident can suffer many types of verbal abuse:
- Yelling or screaming
- Name calling
- Mocking or imitating a resident
- Threatening any type of physical, emotional, financial, or sexual harm
- Shaming a resident in front of others
- Blaming a resident unfairly for stealing or trying to break other rules
In some situations, a resident might be verbally abused by another resident. If staff are notified of this abuse or if they observe it, they should take immediate steps to protect the victim. These steps could include removing the abuser to a different part of the nursing home. The nursing home cannot just turn a blind eye to the abuse.
How Verbal Abuse Injures the Elderly
Verbal abuse can lead to fear, depression, and anxiety which dramatically impact a resident’s feelings of safety. Consequently, a resident could struggle to sleep, eat, or socialize with others. A resident suffering from emotional trauma might also become sick since stress weakens the immune system. Verbal abuse is often a trigger for all sorts of complications, including weight loss and dehydration.
In extreme situations, a resident might engage in self harm, such as cutting, or try to run away from the nursing home. Competent nursing homes must address any suspected verbal abuse and provide care to residents who suffer from it.
Is a Loved One Being Abused?
Savvy nursing home staff often present a pleasant face to family members when they visit. But after visiting hours, they engage in abusive behavior, including verbal abuse. Unless you see a staff member abusing your loved one, you might never know what is happening.
Pay attention to warning signs:
- Staff are verbally abusive to other residents. If they can treat one resident that way, they can treat your loved one that way as well.
- Staff are verbally abusive to each other. Staff tend to talk to residents the same way they talk to each other. An abusive personality could lash out at your loved one.
- Your loved one becomes afraid of one specific staff member and might refuse to talk in their presence.
- Your loved one suffers dramatic weight loss for no explained reason.
- Your loved one acts like a child—rocking, sucking thumb, babbling, etc. This behavior is often a sign of extreme emotional distress.
- Residents are roaming the halls yelling or verbally attacking people.
Raise any concerns with the nursing home. Identify any resident or staff member by name who you suspect is verbally abusive and ask the nursing home to update you on the results of the investigation.
Hire a Lawyer to Represent You
Ideally, nursing homes would take all complaints seriously. But some are understaffed and sweep problems under the rug. Now is the time to hire a lawyer to advocate for you or your loved one. Call our Knoxville nursing home abuse attorney today to schedule a free consultation.