While many people are on red-alert for physical nursing home abuse, the family members of elderly residents in these facilities rarely think about the psychological abuse. While not clear, it can cause serious harm.

Below, this post will describe the warning signs that your loved one may be suffering from psychological abuse. If you are worried that someone you loved is dealing with this issue, contact an experienced and skilled nursing home neglect lawyer today.

What Is Psychological Abuse?

According to Healthy Place, psychological abuse can affect a person’s inner thoughts and feelings as well as exert control over their life. The victim may feel uncertain of the world around them and unsafe in their surroundings.

Also known as emotional abuse, this type of behavior can occur in any situation where the aggressor is in a position of power and takes advantage of that power. When looking at the dynamic inside nursing homes, the residents are sometimes psychologically abused by staff, caregivers or other residents. None of this is OK.

Types of psychological abuse in a nursing home include:

  • Being isolated from other residents or visitors
  • Being excluded from activities
  • Manipulation
  • Mocking
  • Being ignored by caregivers
  • Threats made by caregivers or intimidation

Signs Of Psychological Abuse?

What good is knowing what psychological abuse is if you can’t spot it in a loved one? According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, nursing home residents who suffer psychological abuse may show signs such as:

  • Sudden behavioral changes
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Withdrawal and lack of interaction with people
  • Aggression that is random or sudden
  • Anxiousness
  • Lack of communication
  • Behaviors often attributed to dementia such as biting, rocking, mumbling or sucking
  • Malnourishment
  • Dehydration

Remember: it may be difficult for your loved one to outright tell you they are being emotionally abused. The fear of retaliation by the aggressor sometimes causes the resident not to come forward. For this reason, it is important that family members are aware of the warning signs and regularly visit their loved ones.

If you suspect any abuse is taking place inside a nursing home facility – whether it’s physical or psychological – report it right away. If you believe someone is in immediate danger, contact the police.

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