The easiest form of elder abuse to spot is physical abuse but the most common type of abuse that happens to our loved ones in nursing homes is emotional abuse. Sometimes this is referred to as psychological abuse. This type of abuse is very difficult to spot mainly due to the fact that there are no signs of the physical nature.
Elder emotional abuse can come from a volunteer, a caregiver, or another person who works at the nursing home or assisted living facility. There have also been reported cases of it happening to elders in their own home by their family members and in-home nursing staff. There are many different forms of elder emotional abuse but can be described as any actions taken that cause the elder to experience emotional pain or psychological distress by the caregiver.
Emotional abuse can take on either a verbal or a nonverbal form. Some of the more common types of elder emotional abuse are:
- Having the elder be ignored
- Not allowing the elder to participate in social activities or with their friends
- Ridicule or the humiliation of the senior citizen
- Continuous blaming, demeaning, or scapegoating behavior directed at the elderly person
- Intimidating of the senior, either through yelling or threatening behavior
- Terrorizing the elder
There are signs that you should be on the look on the lookout for when you are visiting your loved ones in their nursing home or assisted living facility. Here are some of the most common indicators that elder emotional abuse may be happening to your loved one.
- They avoid eye contact with you
- They are being very vague and not speaking openly with you
- Low self-esteem
- They often seem disturbed, scared, or hopeless
- They have sudden and wide mood swings
- They are not allowed to join in their social interactions
- Random and sudden changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- They are prevented from seeing people or calling people
If you suspect that your loved one is being emotionally abused in their home it is important that you report this event to the Florida Department of Health at 1.800.96.Abuse. After reporting the abuse please seek the help of an experienced West Palm Beach nursing home abuse lawyer.