When an individual acts in a way that causes emotional pain or suffering to an elderly person, it is emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can be verbal or non-verbal. Oftentimes it is difficult to recognize when emotional abuse is taking place. And when emotional abuse does occur, it can be tough to keep track of because there are not usually physical signs of abuse left behind. Unfortunately many emotional abuse situations are never recognized or reported to authorities.
Why Emotional Abuse Takes Place in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes are generally for-profit businesses, which means the difference between the amounts of money a nursing home takes in and expends is crucial to the “success” of the business. If nursing homes fail to provide the proper ratio of staff to patients, this could possibly result in patients not receiving the proper attention they deserve.
Emotional abuse might occur and not be recognized within a nursing home facility if the staff is not properly supervised or if employees are not trained to recognize emotional abuse. Also, a nursing home facility might fail to conduct a background investigation on an employee with a history of mental abuse. Emotional abuse can come from a caregiver, nursing home volunteer, or any person working inside of the facility.
Examples of Verbal and Non-Verbal Abuse
Verbal abuse is easy to recognize if you are nearby when it is taking place. For example, if you witness a caretaker yelling, shouting, or screaming at a patient, this constitutes verbal abuse. If a caretaker threatens a patient or pretends to harm him or her, this is emotional abuse.
Non-verbal abuse is more difficult to recognize, but it is just as serious as verbal abuse. Non-verbal abuse can make patients feel isolated, helpless, and afraid. Examples of non-verbal abuse include: isolating the patient from other people; restricting access to food, water, or the bathroom; and taking away a patient’s personal items or hiding them.
What a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Do For You
If you suspect emotional abuse is occurring, you should take action immediately to have your loved one removed from the facility and report the abuser to authorities. If you know abuse is taking place, you must report it right away. Remember: if your loved one is being abused, the abuser is most likely abusing other patients as well.
Consider contacting a lawyer who specializes in nursing home abuse cases. A nursing home abuse lawyer with years of experience working with elder abuse cases will have the resources necessary to help nursing home residents and their families with their claims.
If it can be demonstrated that a nursing home or its employees have acted negligently, the nursing home might be held liable for any resulting damages. Damages might include: medical bills, pain and suffering, disfigurement, or disability.
Contact Eric J. Hertz Today
Eric J. Hertz specializes in personal injury and nursing home abuse cases. To learn more about Hertz and his team, visit our website today. Reach out with any questions or comments by calling 404-577-8111 or fill out our online contact form.