Do you have a family member or loved one who is residing in a nursing home? If so, you should be aware of the unfortunate prevalence of abuse against nursing home residents nationwide. Abuse comes in many different forms, but emotional abuse in nursing homes is the second most common type according to a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Public Health.
What is emotional abuse?
Emotional abuse is any act carried out with the aim of causing another person emotional pain. This might include:
- Verbal abuse such as screaming, threatening, taunting, insulting, belittling, criticizing, etc.
- Ignoring victims, can include not speaking to them or attending to their needs
What are some examples of emotional abuse in nursing homes?
According to one study, nursing home employees regularly witness emotionally abuse acts, such as:
- “Excessively isolating patients
- Insulting or screaming at patients
- Withholding nutrition or privileges from patients as punishment
- Threatening the patients with physical abuse.”
Emotional abuse is not only appalling; it is also much too common. Most of the nursing home employees who participated in the study had witnessed emotional abuse least once in the past year. About half of the participants had witnessed another caregiver swearing at or insulting a resident, and about 23 percent of witnesses watched another caregiver isolate a resident.
Emotional abuse can also be the precursor to physical abuse, which also abounds in nursing homes throughout the country.
What do I do if I think my loved one is being abused?
Abuse of any kind should not be tolerated. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law agrees and gives victims and their loved ones the ability to hold the abusers accountable through an injury claim. If you witness any warning signs, start investigating. Signs may include:
- Depression or withdrawal from normal activities
- Fear of a certain staff member
You can begin by asking your loved one about it. Let her know that she can tell you anything and that your priority is her safety.
Even if she does not tell you outright or you do not see any tangible signs, if you suspect abuse, report it to the appropriate agencies (e.g., the nursing home supervisor, your county’s ombudsman, etc.). After reporting it to the appropriate agencies, you can begin to file your claim against the abuser and/or the facility.
Note: You may also want to make arrangements to move your loved one to another facility.
Where can I get help with my elder abuse claim?
A Pennsylvania elder abuse attorney will know how to get to the bottom of the situation while ensuring that you are able to protect your loved one from any further abuse or retaliation.
If you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, ensure her safety and then call the compassionate attorneys at Cordisco & Saile LLC today. We will do everything our power to get justice for your loved one and your family.
Contact us today at 215-486-8196.