When most people think of nursing home abuse, they imagine physical violence. However, emotional abuse is also common in assisted living facilities, impacting vulnerable residents who may already be dealing with severe physical, emotional, and/or cognitive difficulties.
Emotional and mental abuse in California nursing homes is a serious matter that constitutes a violation of a resident’s rights. If you or an elderly family member have experienced this kind of mistreatment from a nursing home staff member or administrator, a dedicated lawyer can be a vital ally in seeking justice.
Forms of Emotional Abuse in Nursing Homes
Psychological abuse in a nursing home can take numerous forms. Unfortunately, many scenarios are not outwardly apparent, even to diligent and compassionate loved ones of residents. If a nursing home staff member makes a resident feel extreme anxiety, fear, or depression by yelling at them inappropriately, ridiculing or taunting them, or threatening them with physical harm, this constitutes a breach of their rights.
Nonverbal Abusive Behavior
However, emotional abuse can also be nonverbal in nature. These situations can be just as traumatizing and still constitute a breach of the resident’s rights. Examples include:
- Ignoring a resident’s requests for assistance
- Refusing to talk to them
- Intentionally excluding them from social activities
- Refusing to let them see family members or friends
In many cases, these may be signs that other forms of abuse are also occurring inside the same facility. Emotional abuse in California nursing homes can also come from other residents rather than staff members. A California attorney can further explain what constitutes emotional abuse in nursing homes and help rectify the situation.
Signs of Psychological Abuse in Assisted Living Facilities
Because emotional and mental abuse does not leave physical scars, it can be difficult for concerned family members to notice the signs and take action to protect their loved ones. As such, it is crucial to know about common symptoms of mental abuse in California nursing homes, such as:
- Excessive and uncharacteristic agitation, especially around a particular staff member or another resident
- Sudden shifts in personality
- Refusal to speak with other people, including family members
- Changes in appetite, especially if it leads to rapid weight loss
- Difficulty sleeping
- Refusal to take medications
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Increased susceptibility to minor injuries and illnesses
In the long run, persistent emotional abuse can contribute to a nursing home resident developing serious psychological illnesses like clinical anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation, as well as increase the risk of drug addiction. Anyone who notices these symptoms of mental abuse in a nursing home resident should contact a nearby attorney as soon as possible to discuss legal options.
Take Action Against Emotional and Mental Abuse in California Nursing Homes
No resident in an assisted living facility should have to suffer abuse of any kind, including mental and emotional mistreatment. Every individual has a different response to this type of trauma, so it is essential for family members to keep an eye out for changes in behavior that may indicate ongoing abuse.
Regardless of the circumstances that lead to a resident suffering emotional and mental abuse in a California nursing home, a compassionate lawyer is available to help seek justice and prevent further mistreatment. Call our firm today to learn more.