When you seek long-term care for your aging loved one, you expect the staff to exercise a standard of care. After some time, you may start to feel like things are not what they seem. How will you know if your loved one has become a victim of nursing home abuse?
Unfortunately, the most common type of elder abuse may prove difficult to catch. Emotional abuse in nursing homes continues to occur, and the damage to a resident’s psyche may become irreversible. Take some time to learn more about what constitutes this type of elder abuse and the signs that your loved one may exhibit.
What is emotional abuse?
Nursing home residents vary in physical and mental condition. Emotional abuse may take a significant toll regardless of a victim’s state. When a staff member uses psychological manipulation to exert power and control over a resident, it rises to emotional abuse. Typically, a victim has no choice but to listen and may begin to believe what the abuser says. This may center around the worthiness of the resident and whether you and your family want them anymore.
What are the common signs of emotional abuse?
Since emotional abuse is psychological, the signs may not prove easy to detect at first. However, once you start to pick up on them, you may look back and find more. The most common symptoms your loved one is enduring emotional abuse include:
- Withdrawing or becoming belligerent
- Rocking, biting nails and shaking
- Fear of one or more staff members
- Thumb sucking and other reversion behaviors
If you believe your loved one is the victim of any nursing home abuse, you have options. The opinion of a trusted medical doctor may pave the way for action against the abuser.