Mental or emotional abuse in Wesley Chapel nursing homes occurs when a resident is spoken to or treated in a way that causes them to suffer psychologically. While this type of abuse may not seem as serious as physical abuse on the surface—it can be just as damaging. A resident who is suffering from mental or emotional abuse can struggle with deep depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts.
If you suspect your elderly loved one is suffering from this kind of abuse, do not hesitate to contact a compassionate nursing home abuse attorney at Distasio Law Firm.
Types of Emotional or Mental Abuse in Nursing Homes
Mental and emotional abuse typically falls within two categories: Verbal and non-verbal.
Verbal abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member uses derogatory language or speaks down to a resident in a way that negatively impacts their mental health. Types of verbal abuse may include:
- Making threats against a resident
- Mocking, shaming, or ridiculing a resident
- Screaming or yelling at a resident
- Speaking harshly or degrading a resident
- Making insulting or rude comments about a resident
Though this type of emotional abuse is more subtle than verbal abuse, it can cause greater damage as victims may find it difficult to put into words how they are being harmed to others. Non-verbal abuse could include:
- Ignoring the resident or giving them the “silent treatment”
- Isolating the resident from visitors or social activities
- Limiting access to basic needs (food, drink, hygiene)
- Giving the resident threatening looks to scare them
- Treating the resident like child, belittling behavior
Residents that Are More Likely to Suffer Emotional or Mental Abuse
The types of patients that are particularly vulnerable to emotional or mental abuse in Wesley Chapel nursing homes are patients with dementia. They often do not understand everything that is going on around them, and so they may not react in a way that the staff members wish. This can cause staff members to lash out against them by belittling or yelling at them, and even isolating them from other residents.
Warning Signs a Loved One Is Being Mentally or Emotionally Abused
Some warning signs that a resident is experiencing emotional or mental abuse in their Wesley Chapel nursing home include:
- Becoming withdrawn
- Suffering increased anxiety or depression
- Not wanting to engage in activities in the nursing home
- Sleeping too much or not eating enough
- Acting differently around a particular staff member
If your family member begins to exhibit any of the above behaviors, do not dismiss it. These behaviors are indicators that your loved one may not be okay.
Immediate and Lasting Harm Can Result from Mental or Emotional Abuse
The types of immediate and lasting harm that can result from emotional and mental abuse in Wesley Chapel nursing homes are devastating. Immediate harm includes the resident becoming depressed and not wanting to engage in any sort of activities, which over time can lead to a physical downfall. If the mental or emotional abuse continues for an extended period of time, it can result in the resident developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or exhibiting suicidal behavior.
Taking Action Against a Nursing Home for Mental or Emotional Abuse
In general, emotional or mental abuse claims by themselves are extremely difficult to bring in a civil lawsuit against the nursing home. Usually, those claims are brought in addition to other claims when there is some sort of physical harm to that loved one. Fortunately, family members can still report that claim to the Agency for Health Care Administration in Florida. This organization governs nursing homes and will investigate the facilities license. They can also report the abuse to the Adult Protective Services central abuse hotline—and in extreme situations—they can report it to local law enforcement.
Call Today to Learn More About Mental or Emotional Abuse in Wesley Chapel Nursing Homes
If you believe that your loved one is being mentally or emotionally abused by one of the caretakers in their assisted living facility, do not delay in reaching out to one of our capable attorneys. Our team of seasoned legal professionals have experience handling cases involving mental or emotional abuse in Wesley Chapel nursing homes and could help you seek justice. Call today to schedule a confidential consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.