Emotional Abuse


Nursing home facilities were designed to provide care and protection to the elderly individuals residing in them. Unfortunately, there have been – and continue to be – incidents of abuse in some of these facilities. Perhaps most alarming about this fact is that not all forms of abuse are easily recognizable. Emotional abuse can be extremely difficult to identify and prove without help from a legal professional.

Verbal forms of emotional abuse

  • Humiliating a resident
  • Ridiculing a resident
  • Intimidating a resident through yelling or threats
  • Blaming a resident on a regular basis

Nonverbal forms of emotional abuse

  • Isolating a resident from friends and / or family
  • Intentionally ignoring a resident
  • Terrorizing a resident

Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Elder Abuse

As we mentioned above, it can be extremely difficult to identify the warning signs of emotional abuse. You can’t simply look for physical indications of emotional abuse because there are often none. Rather than looking for bruises, weight loss, etc., you must instead look for symptoms such as:

  • Withdrawal
  • Changes in a resident’s behavior
  • Dementia-like behaviors such as mumbling, rocking, or sucking
  • Unusual relationship between caregiver and resident

Is your loved one at risk?

Certain risk factors exist which can leave some elderly adults more susceptible to emotional abuse. For example, an elderly individual who suffers from severe illness or dementia could be more likely to incur the wrath of an emotionally abusive (and impatient) caregiver. Additional risk factors include:

  • Social isolation in which the caregiver and resident are often alone together
  • An elder’s own tendency to act verbally and emotionally abusive to others

There are also risk factors that make certain caregivers more susceptible to acting emotionally abusive toward an elderly resident of the nursing home facility. These risk factors can include:

  • A substance abuse problem
  • An inability to effectively cope with stress
  • A personal perception that the job of caretaking is burdensome and / or unrewarding
  • A lack of support from other professional caregivers at the facility
  • A tendency to become depressed

Emotional abuse can be equally as debilitating as other forms of abuse. If you know someone who is suffering, don’t wait to speak with a New York City nursing home abuse attorney at Greenberg & Stein, P.C. We are here to help recover financial compensation for the emotional pain caused by psychological mistreatment. Call us today at 888-411-3966.

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