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Subtle Signs Your Loved One is Being Emotionally Abused at a Nursing Home

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Chicago nursing home abuse attorneysNursing home residents deserve to be treated with respect and dignity at all times. Sadly, some nursing home staff do not treat elderly or disabled residents as well as they should.

The warning signs of physical abuse are generally much more obvious than the signs of psychological or emotional abuse—especially for residents with cognitive issues like dementia. If you have a loved one in a nursing home, it is your responsibility to be vigilant for subtle signs of abuse or neglect.

What Does Emotional Abuse Look Like?

Many residents of nursing homes find that moving to the facility is a tremendously emotional event. For a person who has been autonomous their entire adult life to now need help using the bathroom or eating can be extremely disheartening. This is why it is so important for nursing home staff to do what they can to keep residents’ spirits up and treat them with respect. Nursing home staff who are overworked, under-trained, or have hateful attitudes toward residents may purposely do things to hurt residents. Examples of psychological or emotional abuse include, but are not limited to:

  • Refusing to speak to a resident or using social isolation as a punishment;
  • Threatening physical harm to a resident;
  • Barring the resident from going outside or locking them in their room;
  • Restricting residents’ access to food, water, or the bathroom;
  • Yelling at residents;
  • Insulting or bullying the residents; and
  • Purposely embarrassing the resident in front of other.

Psychological Abuse May Not Be as Obvious as Other Types of Abuse

If your loved one suddenly had a black eye, you would immediately notice it and take steps to make sure physical abuse is not occurring. However, psychological abuse can be much more difficult to spot. A loved one who is being emotionally abused by nursing home staff may experience:

  • Insomnia or hypersomnia;
  • Unexplained weight loss;
  • Fear or nervousness, especially around the abusive employee;
  • Refusal to eat, drink, or take medication;
  • Unusual behavior such as thumb-sucking or rocking;
  • Low energy and diminished responsiveness; and
  • Disinterest in formerly-enjoyable activities.

Emotional or psychological abuse can be devastating to nursing home residents. Depression, excessive fear and anxiety, and feelings of hopelessness or helplessness are all possible effects of emotional abuse. If your loved one exhibits any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to investigate further.

Contact a Skilled Professional for Help

If your loved one has suffered due to nursing home abuse or neglect, contact an experienced Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at Schwartz Injury Law for help. Call 312-535-4625 to schedule your free initial consultation today.



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