We all want to make sure our relatives have a happy and fulfilling life, even if they need frequent medical attention or daily assistance. Unfortunately, many of the places that are equipped to provide these services do not provide a healthy environment overall. Emotional abuse and neglect are two widespread problems in nursing homes across America.
Even though it may not leave physical marks, emotional abuse can affect a patient’s health. Especially among nursing home residents, who are likely to have one or more chronic medical conditions, the stress of facing frequent abuse can cause a decline in health. It’s obviously unacceptable for any caregiver or staff member in a nursing home to treat their patients poorly. When abuse and neglect start to impact residents, it’s time for someone to step in.
Peterson & Associates, P.C. can be that someone if you suspect your loved one is being emotionally abused. Our attorneys know how to investigate complaints of nursing home abuse and how to fight these large businesses in court. Filing a suit can help your loved one find justice, and it can remove the abuser from their position among vulnerable populations. If you want to explore your legal options, ask us for details.
We offer free, confidential consultations at our Kansas City office. Call us at 816-888-8888 to speak with one of our skilled nursing home abuse attorneys.
What Is Emotional Abuse?
Abuse is a pattern of mistreatment that typically comes from someone in a position of power over the victim. Emotional abuse, also called psychological abuse, wears a victim down mentally. Sometimes, abusers combine multiple types of abuse, using emotional manipulation to keep someone under their control. However, abuse does not have to be committed with the intention of harming someone. Mistreatment may be more about the abuser than those they come into contact with. This does not make it any less harmful.
Emotional abuse can take multiple forms, including:
- Verbal assault
Neglect and isolation are also forms of emotional abuse, often used to make a patient believe they have no social support and/or are not worthy of attention. Unfortunately, nursing home staffers who have control over a patient’s movements and activities can often easily cut someone off from their community.
Effects of Emotional Abuse on Elders
Surviving emotional abuse is difficult for a person of any age group, but nursing home patients specifically may experience worsening of preexisting medical conditions due to their distress and anxiety. Emotional abuse is also likely to cause mental health struggles. Some signs you may notice if your loved one has been abused are:
- Difficulty trusting others
- Fear of specific people or situations
- Wariness when others are around
While survivors may feel uncomfortable reporting emotional abuse, especially those who grew up in a world where showing emotional pain was a weakness, some may dance around the issue by mentioning a dislike of or reporting difficulties getting along with certain staffers. If the issue arises, you can support your loved one by validating their concerns and asking what the person did to make them feel that way.
Do You Suspect Your Loved One Is Being Emotionally Abused?
Even if you don’t have proof regarding a potential case of emotional abuse, you should listen to your instincts if something feels off. Unexplained changes in mood, affect, and behavior are all signals of a potential problem.
One in five nursing home abuse reports is about emotional and/or psychological mistreatment. Bringing attention to the issue can help protect your loved one and others in the same facility. You can file a report with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and/or find your district’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman to discuss your concerns and options. You can also reach out to our firm to learn more about your legal rights and the other steps you may be able to take.
We Fight for Seniors
Our nursing home abuse attorneys have helped multiple families find justice for their loved ones. Caregivers who take advantage of vulnerable seniors must be stopped—and one of the best ways to make a difference is to file a lawsuit. Not only does litigation bring attention to the problem staffers, but it also opens a facility up to scrutiny of its hiring, training, and management policies. Abusive caregivers are often a systemic issue, and the only way to make facilities safer is by making their bad actions cost them.
An emotional abuse lawsuit can also help your loved one obtain compensation they can use to find a new, better nursing home and receive care from a counselor or therapist. If their emotional distress led to new or worse symptoms, we can also help them request damages for their medical expenses.
Our seniors deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their health and disabilities. If your loved one is facing emotional abuse, let us explain your legal options today.
Call Peterson & Associates, P.C. at 816-888-8888 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Kansas City elder abuse attorneys. We are here to help your family hold negligent care providers accountable.