As opposed to actual physical abuse, emotional abuse in a nursing home is more difficult to detect. You’ll know it when you see or hear it, but it’s unlikely that it’s going to occur when you’re present. A victim of nursing home emotional abuse isn’t going to display any objective symptoms like cuts or bruising. That’s what makes emotional abuse more difficult to prove.
What is Nursing Home Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse at a nursing home is typically intentional. The abuser might be an employee of the nursing home or a resident of the facility. The acts of abuse might be verbal or non-verbal. They’re generally intended to threaten, harass, intimidate or otherwise humiliate a resident. That resident is almost always elderly. Here are just a few examples of nursing home emotional abuse:
- Making degrading statements to another resident.
- Making false accusations to another resident.
- Verbally aggressive statement being made to another resident.
- Insulting or ridiculing a resident.
- Social isolation of or ignoring a resident.
- Reprimanding and punishing of a resident.
- Raising one’s voice to or threatening a resident.
- Purposefully causing long waits for food, medication or care.
Emotional abuse like that listed above can quickly cause a resident to develop a low self-image along with emotional repercussions. This can result in profound negative psychological damage to the victim.
Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse in a Nursing Home
Elder abuse might not be readily apparent to you when you visit or to your loved one who resides at a nursing home. That’s why you need to know the warning signs of possible nursing home emotional abuse. Here are a few of them:
- Backing away and nervousness when the abuser might be around.
- Avoiding eye contact with a certain facility employee or resident.
- Apprehension of speaking openly.
- Low self-esteem.
- Being unusually passive.
Reporting Louisville Nursing Home Emotional Abuse
It’s unlikely that local police will take much interest in reports of nursing home emotional abuse. You can bring your concerns to state authorities though by contacting the Kentucky Office of Adult Protection Services by calling 800-753-6200. You’ll want to do that right away in order to attempt to avoid the chance of any violence.
Can I Sue for Emotional Abuse at a Louisville Nursing Home?
Kentucky is one of the states that permits stand alone lawsuits for emotional abuse. Usually, an emotional damages count must be pled with another count like assault at a nursing home. If the victim is mentally competent, he or she should maintain a diary of the behavior of staff, residents or both who made him or her feel emotionally abused. Putting the pieces of a viable case for nursing home emotional abuse can be a difficult endeavor though without physical injuries.
If you believe that you or your loved one suffered emotional abuse at a Louisville nursing home, contact us here at Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC for a free consultation and case evaluation with a nursing home abuse lawyer from our office. We want to be able to help you piece a case together, and we can discuss all of your legal options.