5 Signs of Mental Nursing Home Abuse

5 Signs of Mental Nursing Home AbuseIn 2010, 5,961,568 cases of elderly abuse were reported to the National Center on Elder Abuse. The average age of sufferers was 78 years old. And 67% of victims were female. Of the total amount, approximately 435,195 of the cases were ones concerning emotional or psychological abuse. This form of elder abuse is often the most common of elder abuse cases; however, it is also the most difficult to track and is oftentimes never reported.

What is Emotional and Psychological Elderly Abuse?

Physical abuse is the most obvious type of abuse—it is normally easy to spot bruises, cuts and scrapes, or broken bones. But how can one identify the ramifications of emotional and psychological abuse? What even is this type of abuse?

Emotional or psychological elderly abuse consists of a caregiver acting in a way towards an elderly patient that causes emotional pain or suffering. Many times emotional abuse is intentional, but sometimes caregivers are completely unaware of the emotional damage they are causing. Emotional and psychological abuse can be verbal or non-verbal. For example, verbal abuse involves circumstances in which a caregiver yells, verbally harasses or emotionally manipulates a patient. Further examples of abuse include:

  • Name-calling or insulting the patient
  • Embarrassing the patient in front of others
  • Withdrawing affection from the patient
  • Giving the silent-treatment or ignoring the person being cared for
  • Restricting access to food, water or the bathroom

How Can You Identify Emotional or Psychological Abuse? 

If you know an elderly person living in a nursing home or in the care of an individual nurse or caregiver, then look out for changes in personality and mood in order to identify signs of emotional or psychological abuse. Signs of suffering can appear in a multitude of ways, for example:

  1. Loved one avoids eye contact
  2. “” Will not speak openly and used to do so
  3. “” Seems hopeless or scared, and has a low-self esteem
  4. “” Has a desire to hurt him or herself, or another person
  5. “” Experiences changes in sleeping or eating patterns

Next Steps if You Suspect Abuse

If you are suspicious of any type of elderly abuse, you must report it immediately to government officials. If the elder is the victim of abuse, he or she will be removed from the environment immediately and placed in a safer setting.

There are adult protective service laws for elders in every state, including Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Any concerned person can report suspected abuse, so do not hesitate if you are in this situation.

Contact Eric J. Hertz and Associates 

Oftentimes, filing a claim is enough to exact a confession from the caregiver(s) responsible for abuse. But if the next step involves contacting a lawyer, then make sure you hire a person who has sufficient experience working with elderly abuse cases.

Eric J. Hertz and his team specialize in elderly abuse cases. We know how tricky nursing home investigations can become. Therefore, let us make the legal process less stressful and more efficient for you and your family. Get in touch with us today by calling 404-577-8111 or fill out our online contact form.

Nursing Home Abuse Warning Signs

Nursing Home Abuse Warning SignsNursing home abuse is an unfortunate reality for many elders. This type of abuse can take on different forms including physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse, as well as neglect among others.

Observing Signs of Mistreatment

There are various reasons why nursing home abuse exists. It could arise from a caregiver that takes out their frustration on a nursing home resident. Since many residents are too weak or even incapacitated to fend for themselves, they can easily be taken advantage of.

If your loved one is in a nursing home, there are several warning signs of abuse to be aware of:

  • If your loved one is having more trouble moving from one place to another, and is showing signs of aches and ailments, it could be from not receiving the necessary level of assistance with regular physical exercise routines.
  • Your loved one might be showing more bruises, scratches or even broken or dislocated bones that could be from not being handled with care. Sometimes, nursing home residents aren’t properly moved to their chairs or bed, which can result in falls or other types of physical harm.
  • A significant amount of weight loss could be proof of not being fed properly. Your loved one could be malnourished or even dehydrated. Check for a dry mouth and chapped lips, as well as less frequent trips to the bathroom, which could arise from being fed less.
  • A strong body odor might signify a lack of being showered regularly or receiving other forms of basic personal care including getting their clothes laundered and toileting. You should look out for clothing stains, which also include urine or other odor-causing marks.
  • Not having the necessary level of supervision will largely result in slips or falls, which can threaten your loved one’s health. Whenever you notice more recurrent mysterious falls, it’s usually due to neglect.
  • A change in your loved one’s mood could be a sign of emotional stress, depression, or fatigue. If you notice that they’re uninterested in taking part in regular activities and are tending to keep to themselves, it could even be a sign of feeling threatened by those responsible for the abuse.
  • One of the most common forms of abuse is giving nursing home residents a higher dose of medication that can take a toll on their health. Check for whether your loved one seems to be sleepier or drowsier than usual, or even unaware of their surroundings.

Some nursing home residents who endure abuse will voice their concerns and show a cry for help, but many are sometimes fearful of getting punished, so they opt to stay silent. Whatever the case may be, all nursing home residents have rights, and it’s critical for you to know about those rights, too.

Getting the Help of a Skilled Attorney

The law office of Eric J. Hertz can help you learn more about nursing home abuse and the rights of your loved one. Our attorneys are experts in the field with a proven track record. For more information about our services, contact us today, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Nursing Home Abuse and What It Means for Your Loved One

Nursing Home Abuse and What It Means for Your Loved OneDid you know that a large percentage of nursing home personnel has actually admitted to inflicting acts of physical violence and neglect, among other forms of abuse on patients? According to the National Center On Elder Abuse (NCEA), a recent study showed that one out of three nursing homes in the United States have been cited for abuse.

Types of Abuse and Effects on the Victim

Since nursing home abuse can take on several forms, each category of abuse will have its own negative effects on your loved one. To begin with, physical abuse is generally an intentional act that could be the result of an upset staff member who decides to hit the resident because of their behavior.

Physical abuse can consist of giving a patient a sedative or particular drug that might not be suitable for their wellbeing. This type of abuse could just be done just so your loved one won’t “bother” the staff. It’s imperative for you to look out for signs of physical of abuse when you’re with your loved one.

Abuse can also be of the emotional type. A frustrated nursing home staff member can take their anger out on a loved one verbally. This often leaves them feeling like they’re a burden and unwanted. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure you’re aware of any signs of such abuse to take the necessary actions.

Sexual abuse is also another common form of ill-treatment at nursing homes, and this sad reality leaves victims devastated on both a physical and emotional level. Sexual abuse takes place because residents are too weak or even incapacitated to fend for themselves.

In addition, financial abuse makes up another category of harm perpetrated on a nursing home resident. Nursing home staff on night shift, for example, can sneak into a resident’s room and steal money from their purse, wallet, or drawer while they’re sleeping. One thing you can do to prevent or catch this type of abuse is to routinely check credit card statements on a regular basis.

What You and Your Loved One Can Do

Abuse ultimately puts the life of an elder at risk, since they’re so vulnerable. In the most severe cases, nursing home negligence or abuse can result in death. Before it reaches that point, you take action.

Currently, some states allow families of nursing home residents to place video cameras in their rooms to be able to monitor the quality of care they’re receiving. Some residents, however, might feel uncomfortable with that in terms of seeing it as an invasion of privacy.

The best way to hold a nursing home liable for abuse is a civil lawsuit. Since nursing homes are for-profit businesses, legal action will hit them where they’re most vulnerable—their pockets. To learn more about the rights of your loved one and what actions you should take, seek the advice of a skilled attorney.

The law firm of Eric J. Hertz specializes in nursing home abuse cases. We have the expertise and experience to help you get your loved one the treatment they deserve. For more information about our services and how we can assist you, call us today, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.