When you take your loved one to the nursing home, you hope the staff will treat them with love, dignity and utmost professionalism. Unfortunately, abuse in nursing homes is widely documented. One of the most common, yet difficult to detect, forms of abuse in nursing homes is emotional abuse.
The power discrepancy between nursing home residents and those caring for them makes them highly vulnerable to emotional abuse. If you believe that your loved one is being emotionally abused by their caretaker, it is important that you take appropriate steps to safeguard their rights.
What are the telltale signs?
According to the National Institute on Aging (NIA), some of the signs that can help you determine emotional abuse include:
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Mood swings
- Sudden withdrawal from their favorite activities
- Lowered self-esteem
- Change in eating behavior
- Sleeping difficulty
It is important to note that your family member may not mention anything to you. They might be embarrassed that they cannot defend themselves or fear retaliation by the perpetrator. Alternatively, they may not recognize what is happening is abuse or be unable to communicate it.
So what do you do if you spot it?
Learning that your loved one is suffering emotional abuse at the hands of their caretaker can be a harrowing experience. Talking to the manager may put an end to the immediate problem, but emotional abuse can have a lasting effect on the victim. If your loved one has suffered emotional abuse in the nursing home, it is important to understand your legal options to hold the responsible party accountable.