Emotional Elder Abuse Attorney in Charleston, WV
According to the American Psychological Association, more than 2 million American elders are victims of nursing home abuse every year. This abuse can take many forms, ranging from physical and emotional abuse to sexual abuse. Perhaps the most difficult to recognize, however, is emotional abuse. If you feel that your loved ones are being emotionally abused, you need to contact the Love Law Firm immediately at (304) 344 5683 for a free consultation.
What is Emotional Elder Abuse
Emotional abuse is defined as behaviors conducted by nursing home staff and others that, in one way or another, causes emotional pain or distress. Victims of emotional abuse can become depressed, anxious, or even suicidal, and in a nursing home or group home setting, emotional elder abuse creates an atmosphere of fear, encouraging elders to remain silent (also, there’s no immediate physical signs of abuse, such as bruises, which makes it not immediately visible to visitors that abuse is occurring).
Emotional elder abuse is comprised of verbal and/or non-verbal, psychological elements. Verbal abuse can include:
- Intimidation through threats, yelling, aggressive or passive aggressive speech, etc.
- Humiliation or ridicule
- Habitual blaming and/or scapegoating
Non-verbal, psychological abuse can include:
- Continuing to ignore an elderly person
- Isolating an elderly person from family, friends, and activities
- Terrorizing or menacing an elderly person
Signs of Emotional Elder Abuse
Unlike physical abuse, emotional elder abuse does not produce immediate signs of harm, such as cuts, bruises, broken bones, and other signs. Because of the nature of emotional abuse, it is up to others, typically family and friends, to truly listen to their loved ones and pay close attention to signs that emotional elder abuse is happening. Some signs and symptoms of emotional and/or psychological abuse can include, but are not limited to:
- Being emotionally upset or agitated
- Becoming extremely withdrawn, non-communicative, or non-responsive
- Demonstrating unusual behavior, such as sucking, biting, rocking, etc.
- Reporting abuse, either physical or emotional
Reporting Emotional Elder Abuse
Emotional elder abuse far too often is unreported. Unfortunately, some family members discredit fairly clear signs of help. If you suspect that a loved one is being abused, or if a loved one tells you or hints of abuse, you need to call the appropriate groups who specifically deal with these types of issues. First of all, if you believe the situation is an emergency, call the local police department. Otherwise, some associations that can help include:
In addition to calling these services, document everything you can, including names of the suspected nurses, any medical information, times and dates when you believe the abuse occurred, and anything else.
Protect Your Loved Ones and Call the Love Law Firm Today
At nursing homes and similar settings, you expect your loved ones to be taken care of, professionally and competently. Therefore, if you believe emotional elder abuse is occurring, make sure to get an experienced lawyer on your side who can help protect your loved ones and stop emotional elder abuse once and for all.
At the first signs of abuse, call the Love Law Firm immediately at (304) 344 5683 for a free consultation.