Signs of Psychological Abuse In Nursing Homes

Psychological Abuse In Nursing Homes - Young nurse and female senior in nursing home

Signs of Psychological Abuse In Nursing Homes

  • By Legacy Law Missouri
  • 353

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

When people place their loved ones in nursing homes, they expect for them to be in a safe and welcoming environment. Unfortunately, however, that is not always the case. Abuse still occurs in nursing homes these days. One of the most common types of nursing home abuse is psychological abuse. Although it is less obvious than physical abuse, this type of abuse can still negatively impact residents. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused at a nursing home, you may want to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible.

Definition of Psychological Abuse

Psychological abuse is a type of abuse that causes nursing home residents emotional distress. As the legal professionals can explain, it can be verbal and non-verbal. Some forms of psychological abuse include yelling, intimidating, threatening, isolating, ridiculing and ignoring a patient.

Signs of Psychological Abuse

As mentioned above, psychological abuse may not be as obvious as physical abuse because there are no bruises or broken bones. That is why it is important to be aware of the signs. Here are a few indicators that your loved one may have suffered psychological abuse in a nursing home.

  • Your family member is depressed and withdrawn
  • Your family member get irritated more easily
  • Your family member has a loss of appetite
  • Your family member avoid eye contact with others
  • Your family member is more nervous than usual
  • Your family member has unusual behaviors, like thumb sucking or rocking

Risk Factors for Psychological Abuse

There are certain risk factors that make a nursing home resident more vulnerable to abuse. For example, caregivers who are overworked and stressed may be more likely to inflict psychological abuse on residents. Likewise, if a caregiver suffers from depression or drug addiction, the likelihood of abuse is higher. 

Older nursing home residents tend to be more vulnerable to abuse than their younger counterparts. Also, residents who have cognitive impairments have a higher risk of being abused.

Treatment Options for Psychological Abuse

Although psychological abuse can do a lot of damage, it is possible to treat it. First and foremost, you may have to remove your loved one from the facility as soon as possible so that he or she does not suffer further harm. Then, you may want to take your family member to see a mental health counselor. Psychological abuse can cause a lot of emotional distress and your loved one will have to work through that. A trained counselor can talk to your loved one about the abuse and teach him or her how to cope with it.

Your loved one may also be prescribed medication to improve depression or anxiety symptoms. These medications may help lift your family member’s mood and help him or her sleep better.

If your loved one has experienced abuse in a nursing home, you should schedule a consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer today to talk about your case in detail.