Words can be extremely hurtful and even more so when they are being uttered by those you know, trust and who are providing your care. Unfortunately, verbal abuse and emotional abuse takes place regularly within some nursing homes, and the abusers are typically not the other patients, but the staff you are paying to take care of your loved one.This abuse is more common than you think. This post answers questions about the abuse that can occur in nursing homes.
How Often Does Abuse Occur in Nursing Homes?
You would like to think that you have placed your loved one in a safe and secure facility. While the facility you chose may be the best in your area, that does not mean that it is exempt from abuse. Unfortunately, even though more than 2 million cases of abuse within nursing homes or care facilities are reported each and every year, elderly abuse is a grossly unreported problem across the country.
While statistics show that almost 10 percent of the elderly population will experience some form of abuse, 40 percent of elderly citizens in a nursing home have described abuse and 90 percent report someone else who lives at the facility, or they themselves, have experienced neglect.
With the elderly population continuing to escalate at a fast pace, if this problem is not addressed, it will continue to grow. While these statistics incorporate all forms of abuse, verbal and emotional abuse are more prevalent than you may think.
What Does Verbal and Emotional Abuse Look Like?
Verbal abuse can take many forms. Although you may think of verbal abuse as yelling or cursing, biting or criticizing words can also be delivered in very soft tones. It may include:
- Rude comments or remark
- Mocking, mimicking or insulting
- Threatening or coercing
- Teasing and taunting
- Aggressive tones or body language
The person delivering the abuse may speak one way in front of you, or other family members, and speak another way when you are not around.
What Are the Signs?
Many times one of the first signs you may notice if your loved one is being subjected to verbal or emotional abuse is a change in their personality. They may become more withdrawn, or unwilling to discuss what is taking place. They may be reluctant to engage with that particular staff member, but willing to engage with others.
If verbal or emotional abuse is taking place, your loved one may express an increased amount of anxiety or fearfulness. They may become adamant about leaving the facility, or express apprehension about being left alone.
Watch how the caretakers interact with the other patients. If you suspect the caretaker is verbally abusing patients, you should also watch for other staff members reactions.
If the verbally abusive behavior is witnessed by other staff, what are their reactions? A lack of reaction is a good sign that this is the person's normal behavior.
If your loved one is communicating with you, listen to what they are saying. Although their mental status may be slightly altered due to their condition and medications, pay attention to what they are communicating.
What Can You Do?
If you suspect that any type of abuse or neglect is taking place, you owe it to the elderly people who live there to do everything in your power to put a stop to it. One of the ways you can help is by reporting what you are seeing and hearing.
Report it to the person in charge of the facility as well as the Adult Division of Family Services within your city. This will give the head of the facility the opportunity to intervene and protect the people who reside there. The Adult Division of Family Services is responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect, and these representatives will protect those who live there.If any type of abuse or neglect has happened to your loved one, contact Philpot Law Firm PA. In addition to filing criminal charges against those responsible. These attorneys will assist you in pursuing the compensation you may be entitled to. Contact us today.