Elderly Lives Matter®

Elder Abuse Is Not Always Physical

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2020 | Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Elderly people who live in nursing homes in Florida are sometimes completely dependent on their caregivers. This reliance can put them in a vulnerable position when their caregivers do not have their best interests in mind. Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect.

Emotional abuse counts as elder abuse

Emotional abuse is another type of elder abuse that often goes unreported. This insidious form of mistreatment does not leave scars or bruises on an elderly person’s body. However, the impact of emotional abuse can be seen in elderly individuals mental states, in their demeanors, and even in their physical health.

Examples of emotional abuse

Emotional abuse happens when someone intentionally inflicts nonphysical emotional or psychological pain onto another person. In a nursing home setting, emotional abuse can feel like torture because the victim has no escape. Some examples of emotional abuse in a nursing home are:

  • Yelling or screaming at the patient
  • Name calling and ridiculing the patient
  • Intentionally embarrassing the patient
  • Intimidating the patient with threats
  • Intentionally bringing up topics to upset the patient
  • Generally acting cold and aloof toward the patient

Signs of emotional abuse

While the infliction of emotional abuse is nonphysical, it can still have a physical impact on the victim. When an elderly person is subjected to emotional abuse on a regular basis, he or she could develop symptoms that negatively affect personal health. If you notice that your elderly loved one has had a sudden and unexplained loss of vitality, you should probably start asking why and considering nursing home abuse. Some signs of emotional abuse to look for include:

  • Sleeping problems
  • Weight fluctuations
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Nervous tics
  • Withdrawal
  • Fearful behavior

What can be done to protect the elderly from emotional abuse?

Before we can stop emotional abuse from continuing, we must identify that it is happening. Often, abusive caregivers will wait until no one is watching to inflict emotional abuse on an elderly person. If you suspect that your elderly relative is a victim of nursing home abuse, talk to an attorney about strategies for bringing that abuse to light and holding the perpetrators accountable.

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