When your loved one is being abused in their nursing home, you want to take action immediately. The first step is moving them to a safe place to live. Then you can start to fight for their rights. A skilled West Virginia nursing home abuse lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC will help you get justice for your loved one.
The lawyers at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC have represented West Virginia citizens for years and always do everything possible to have successful cases. We know the emotional trauma of realizing your loved one was abused is a heavy weight to bear. We can help you get financial compensation for the pain and suffering they’ve experienced. Bringing their case forward may also inspire change within the nursing home so no other resident will be at risk of abuse in the future.
What Is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse can also be known as psychological abuse. This happens when someone is verbally harassing them in a way that insults or belittles them. Some may even threaten harm or blame the resident for things they didn’t do. The intent is usually to intimidate or humiliate the resident. There’s also the angle of completely ignoring what the resident is saying and being treated like they’re not there at all. In other situations, the abuser may keep the resident from participating in the social activities in the nursing home which can contribute to decline in mental health from lack of engagement.
This kind of abuse is just as serious as physical types of abuse. When an elderly patient is verbally abused and kept away from friends, they feel isolated and scared. Many residents in nursing homes may have issues with dementia or other forms of memory loss and a symptom of those illnesses is having trouble communicating. Even if they felt brave enough to verbalize that someone is abusing them, they may not be able to.
When the topic of nursing home abuse arises, many people will probably think of a member of staff being the abuser. While this can happen, abuse isn’t always done by the people who work in the nursing home. Resident-on-resident abuse also occurs and is often understudied so it’s difficult to know how prevalent this issue is in nursing homes. But residents can bully, tease, and be cruel to other residents.
Symptoms of Emotional Abuse
All forms of abuse leave its mark. Physical abuse is probably one of the easier types of abuse to detect because it leaves visible injuries. It may be more difficult to find evidence of emotional abuse because you can’t always look at someone and automatically know. But it’s possible to recognize the symptoms of emotional abuse when you know what you’re looking for.
Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of elder abuse:
- Sudden Change in Behavior
- Little to No Eye Contact
- Seems Withdrawn
- Change in Eating Patterns
- Mood Swings
If your loved one seems uncharacteristically upset, withdrawn, and doesn’t seem like the person you usually see, then you may need to look further into why they’re acting this way. While you may need to consider if they have any illnesses or certain medications that may also present these kinds of symptoms, you know what your loved one is like and how they act on a day-to-day basis.
But not everyone can be with their loved one in the nursing home 24/7. So if you suspect that abuse is occurring, try and visit as frequently as you can and at uncommon visitor hours. While you’re there, try speaking to other residents and their families about how they feel about the care at the home. You can also speak with the people taking care of your loved one. Paying close attention to how the nursing home works and who regularly interacts with your loved one can clue you in if they’re being treated properly or not.
What Do You Do If Your Loved One Has Been Abused?
Senior citizens deserve to live fulfilling lives in their nursing homes with dignity and respect. Those who would take advantage of them or hurt them need to be held responsible for their actions. At DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC, we will make sure your loved one’s rights are represented and fight to win them a fair settlement. Have peace of mind that professionals are supporting your loved one’s case and won’t let their experience be overlooked. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us today and schedule a free consultation.