Understanding Emotional Abuse of the Elderly

Emotional abuse is a common type of abuse in nursing homes. In this article, I will discuss emotional abuse in nursing homes, the signs of it, and how we can help. If you think your loved one may be experiencing emotional abuse, continue reading to get more information.

Emotional Abuse

When employees of a nursing home treat a patient wrong emotionally, this is considered emotional abuse. It is important to become familiar with the signs of emotional abuse because it is often hard to detect.

Types of Emotional Abuse

There are many types of emotional abuse. Here is a list of the most common types of emotional abuse in nursing homes.

Verbal Emotional Abuse

  • Yelling, shouting, screaming
  • Threatening or pretending to harm the individual
  • Intimidation
  • Insulting or ridiculing the individual
  • Talking down to a patient
  • Being cold or indifferent toward a patient
  • Making patients blame themselves for their health problems
  • Verbal cruelty

Nonverbal Emotional Abuse

  • Ignoring the patient
  • Terrorizing them while pretending to cause physical harm
  • Prohibiting them from speaking to others who wish to talk to them
  • Isolating them from others
  • Not allowing them to go outside
  • Limiting their access to food or water
  • Hiding personal items or taking them away altogether

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Here are a few signs that an individual may show if they are experiencing emotional abuse.

  • Low self esteem
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Fear of speaking openly
  • Fear of answering questions about abuse
  • Desire to hurt oneself or others
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Changes in appetite
  • Having no desire to socialize

Effects of Emotional Abuse

  • Depression
  • Behavioral changes
  • Fear of an individual person or place
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
  • Disinterest in activities they enjoy
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Bullying others
  • Low self esteem

How To Talk To Your Loved Ones

When discussing abuse with your loved ones, it may be a hard topic to discuss. Make sure you are patient and listen to what they are saying. You should do everything possible to support them and help them get to the bottom of things. If you want to discuss abuse with your loved ones but are unsure how, here are some questions you can ask:

  • Do you feel safe in this facility?
  • Are you happy in this facility?
  • Do you feel like the staff takes good care of you?
  • What is your favorite part of living here?
  • What is your least favorite part?
  • Do you socialize often with other residents?
  • Are you sleeping well?

Getting Help

If you suspect your loved one is experiencing emotional abuse, please contact us. We will help you take the right steps to get the help you need. You can call us at 203-208-3065.

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