Abuse can come in many different forms, including physical, emotional, and financial. Some of those types of abuse can manifest as neglect, sexual abuse, pushing, and yelling. When you make the tough decision to place your loved one in a long-term care facility, you expect their new community to take care of them as if you would. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, as all types of abuse happen in nursing homes. And staff members aren’t the only people in your loved one’s nursing home who might abuse them, as fellow residents can cause abuse as well.
According to the National Institute on Aging, verbal abuse is a form of emotional abuse, but it can be much more than just yelling at a person. Verbal abuse can be a staff member insulting, threatening, blaming, or patronizing a patient. According to a study, verbal abuse was the most common form of abuse in assisted living facilities, with 203 instances of humiliating remarks occurring for every 1,000 residents per year.
Nobody deserves to be treated poorly, especially not older Americans who need the help of a long term care facility to live more comfortably. Though verbal abuse might sound like the least harmful form of abuse, it’s just as bad because it negatively impacts the patient’s mental and emotional state. A study funded by the National Institute on Aging found that verbal mistreatment can be associated with a decrease in physical and mental health and leads to a lower quality of life.
Know the Signs of Verbal Elder Abuse
Understaffing and overworking staff members might be a reason that they end up abusing their elderly patients, and other residents might be upset that they have to be in a care facility rather than at home, but none of these instances are excuses to mistreat another human being. Verbal abuse is also a slippery slope because it can escalate to physical abuse without warning.
The most efficient way to stop verbal abuse in elder care facilities is by reporting it. But to report the abuse, you have to know what to look for. Here are the signs to look for when your loved one is in an elder care facility and you suspect they might be being verbally abused by either a staff member or a fellow resident:
- Isolating themselves
- Unusually tired
- Frequently nervous or frightened
- Personality or behavior changes
- Low self-esteem
When you think your loved one is being abused by the staff or a fellow resident at their nursing home, it’s important to know how to handle the situation so that you get justice. First, you should report the suspected abuse to the facility’s staff and administrators, and if nothing comes of that, you should reach out to the authorities. If you feel like your loved one’s health or well-being is at risk, you should look into removing them from the facility and finding one that will provide better care.
Our Charleston, WV Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Will Fight for You
When your loved one has experienced abuse in their long term care facility, you’ll need an experienced Charleston nursing home abuse lawyer on your side to help you file a case against the at-fault parties. You might feel hesitant to take legal action against a facility, but it can ensure that they will be held accountable and that no other people are treated like your loved one was.
We know this is a sensitive time for you and your family, so our team at DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC will work with great care to grant you peace of mind. If you suspect your loved one is being abused in their long term care facility, reach out to us today so that we can discuss your potential legal options.