Emotional Abuse Examples
The term “emotional abuse” conjures up images of insults and jeers, which are indeed common in nursing homes. Staff who find a patient hard to deal with may resort to attacking that patient’s character, making him or her feel worthless. They may also humiliate such patients in front of their peers, often by revealing embarrassing medical or personal information. This can take a great emotional toll, especially on those who are physically or mentally vulnerable.
Besides verbal attacks, emotional abuse also involves threats. A caregiver may insinuate that he or she will not administer food or medication unless the patient agrees to some desired end. If the caregiver were actually to withhold food or drugs, this would constitute physical abuse, but the threat of withholding them is abusive in itself. Caregivers may also isolate patients from their peers, leading to emotional deprivation.
The Signs of Suffering
Emotional abuse is easiest to detect when the victim is willing to talk about it directly. Whether out of fear of retaliation, the belief that they won’t be taken seriously, or a desire to not “make a fuss,” few nursing home patients are willing to come forward about emotional damage. This means it is essential to listen to patients who do report abuse, as there are likely many more in that facility who are being abused but haven’t said anything.
Because victims so rarely report their abuse, you must look for indirect signs of it. Be wary if your loved one seems withdrawn or unwilling to communicate, becomes emotionally sensitive, expresses negative opinions about himself or herself, or suffers any sudden changes in personality. Though not irrefutable proof of abuse, these behaviors do mean you should look into the nursing home’s practices more carefully.
If your loved ones have been subject to emotional abuse, Garcia & Artigliere will get them the restitution they deserve. As nursing home abuse attorneys, we have the resources and training to address all forms of nursing home malpractice, whether physical, medical, or emotional. For more information, visit our website today.