Caring for elderly or disabled loved ones is a full-time job, which is why many people seek nursing home residency. Unfortunately, residents may experience heart-breaking nursing home abuse. Overworked and underpaid nursing home staff may not have the resources—or the inclination—to take care of residents as needed. It’s important to monitor your loved ones for signs of nursing home abuse.
While physical signs of abuse are often obvious, emotional and mental scars are not. Your loved one may be unable able to tell you because they’re incapacitated, don’t understand what’s happening, or are too ashamed to talk. Here’s how to recognize the emotional and mental signs of nursing home abuse.
Signs of nursing home emotional and mental abuse
Emotional and mental abuse can manifest in many different ways. Caregivers may shame residents for conditions out of their control, yell at them, tell them their family no longer cares, or threaten in another way.
If your loved one tells you about emotional or mental abuse, it is critically important to take them seriously. Otherwise, watch for these signs:
- Personality changes: While some age-related disorders can cause personality changes, mental and emotional abuse can do the same. If your loved one suddenly becomes angry, agitated or withdrawn overnight, this may be a sign they’re experiencing nursing home abuse.
- Childlike behaviors: Thumb-sucking, mumbling, rocking and speaking in a childlike voice are both signs of age-related diseases and abuse.
- Depression, agitation and anxiety: Watch the resident’s reaction when caregivers enter the room. If they display signs of depression, agitation and/or anxiety, it could be a clue that a specific caregiver is abusing them.
- Caregiver behavior: Sometimes abusers aren’t subtle. If you see a staff member belittling, yelling at or otherwise being cruel to a resident, take note.
What to do if you suspect nursing home abuse
Many people are afraid to level nursing home abuse allegations, especially if they feel like their loved one is “stuck” in a certain home.
The nursing home abuse attorneys at Dworken & Bernstein understand the sensitive nature of nursing home abuse. If you suspect someone you know is being abused, call us immediately! We’ll review your claim and help you explore your legal options—and our top priority is to ensure your loved one is safe.
Call Dworken & Bernstein for a nursing home abuse consultation today.