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Emotional/Verbal Abuse

Their New Home

When an elderly member of your family enters a nursing home it may be for any number of reasons. No matter what those reasons are, the nursing home is now their new home. It is where they spend their days, their nights, where they eat, bathe, and socialize. Although it may take a bit of getting used to, if the nursing home is a safe, comfortable place with a caring and nurturing staff, your loved one is likely to settle in nicely.

Invisible Abuse

Unfortunately, there are many nursing homes that are staffed inadequately or with uncaring, unscrupulous employees. Additionally, some staff members actually enjoy making the residents miserable and unhappy. These situations culminate in neglect and abuse.

Physical abuse is something that is hard to disguise and often uncovered by caring family members. Emotional and verbal abuse is much more insidious, but can be every bit as harmful. This type of abuse can range from verbal degradation to isolation from social activities, visitors, and even other residents.

Because nursing home residents are dependent on the staff members for many things they used to be able to do themselves, it is particularly degrading for them to be humiliated by the people who care for them. However, it is not uncommon for a staff member to make fun of a patient for the inability to control their bodily functions or degrade them by yelling or screaming at them.

Verbal threats are even worse than verbal degradation. Often directed toward a particular resident, verbal threats may be used to instill fear, such as the treat of a spanking if they soil their bed again, or the threat of withholding the next meal if they don’t finish their food.

Abusive caregivers may use emotional manipulation to ease their workload. They take advantage of the fact that most nursing home residents are insecure and easily manipulated into being afraid to ask for even a drink of water or a snack. This places residents at greater risk of malnutrition and dehydration. Emotional threats can ensure residents will not report abuse of another patient, as they fear they will become the next victim.

Signs of Trouble 

When you visit your loved one, always be alert for any type of mistreatment or abuse. Signs of emotional abuse include being withdrawn, depressed, or unwilling to communicate, unusual behavior like rocking, sucking, or laying in the fetal position, fear of friends and family, or any unusual behavior when certain staff members approach.

Shea Law Group

Verbal, emotional, and mental abuse should never be tolerated by anyone. However, when your family member is suffering in silence, you have an obligation to step in. At Shea Law Group in Chicago, we have been successfully helping nursing home residents and their families receive compensation for all types of abuse, and we are here to help you too.

Call us toll free at (877)-365-0040, and remember, we never charge a fee unless we collect for you.