Making the decision to place an elderly loved one in a nursing home can be difficult. You want to care for your loved one as much as you possibly can, but life doesn’t always permit the full-time attention that many elderly individuals need and deserve.
So, you choose a nursing home and you make sure to visit as much as possible. Then one day, something seems off. While it may seem like nothing at first, this can be one of the many signs to be aware of in order to detect potential emotional abuse.
What Should I Look For?
Emotional abuse can be damaging to the elderly individual’s psyche and it may show as simple distress. However, as a family member, you should understand the various signs associated with emotional abuse and report any of your findings as soon as possible. This can help protect your loved one and hold the nursing home accountable.
- Avoiding eye contact: If you notice that your elderly loved one is avoiding eye contact with you, someone else in the room, or particularly a staff member, this could be a red flag. Be sure to observe how your loved one acts around certain individuals.
- Refusing to eat: Emotional abuse can result in depression and other changes in behavior, as well as malnourishment as your loved one may refuse to eat. They may be distant and claiming they are not hungry.
- Low self-esteem: If you notice your loved one is lacking self-esteem or confidence, or they’re constantly putting themselves down, it may be because someone else is treating them the same way. Be sure to listen for certain phrases that could indicate emotional abuse.
There can be other signs of which you should be aware. If you’re conversing with your loved one and they suddenly change their demeanor when a staff member or other resident is near, this is a clear sign of some kind of emotional abuse.
What You Can Do Moving Forward
If you recognize any signs of emotional abuse, be sure to report what you saw. Then, speak with a lawyer about your rights moving forward. You can get help collecting evidence to prove the abuse exists, then build a strong case strategy to pursue justice.
At The Gatti Law Firm, we take matters of all nursing home abuse seriously. Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse, and our Oregon nursing home abuse attorneys are prepared to step up on your side to seek compensation and hold the negligent party(ies) accountable.
To discuss your potential case, we encourage you to call us at (503) 543-1114 today.