On various occasions, this blog has discussed nursing home abuse and how damaging it can be to those who are victimized. Oftentimes, discussions of nursing home abuse are couched in terms of physical harm. Although physical injuries are more common than many people think and can cause extensive pain and suffering, physical abuse is not the only type of abuse to which a nursing home resident can be subjected.
Emotional and psychological abuse is also common in the nursing home world. This type of abuse occurs when words and actions result in anguish, mental suffering or distress. Threats of harm, forcing decisions upon a resident, berating residents and isolation of a resident can result in this type of harm. It can be difficult to catch emotional abuse, but there are a number of symptoms. Victims of emotional abuse often withdraw from social situations, engage in behavior that is out of character and suffer from disrupted sleeping and eating patterns.
This mental harm can be quite significant and, in turn, may result if physical harm to a resident, such as when psychological abuse causes a patient to suffer from malnutrition. With nearly one-and-a-half million Americans residing in nursing homes, this harm may have far-reaching implications. This is why nursing home residents and their families need to be diligent in the assessment of care being received in a nursing home. If red flags are raised, it may be worth speaking with an attorney who knows how to investigate these issues and build a legal claim.
Although legal claims regarding emotional and psychological abuse may be more challenging to satisfactorily prove, a skilled attorney may be able to gather evidence and witness accounts to support a victim's claim. Hopefully it will be possible to hold abusive nursing home employees and their employers accountable for the damage they have caused. In addition, compensation may be recoverable for harm suffered. Those who want to learn more about how to approach a case involving nursing home abuse can discuss the matter with an attorney of their choosing.