Many people are familiar with the concept of emotional abuse in relationships, but what does emotional abuse look like when the abuse comes from a supposed care giver?
In nursing homes or other long-term care facilities, emotional abuse may result when patients are exposed to situations which may cause anxiety, chronic depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. For example, if a senior is unable to swallow solid foods, yet they are not given appropriate food, that is abuse. If someone needs to go to the bathroom, but they are unable to go without assistance, waiting can be painful. Worse, if they wait so long that they soil themselves, sitting in their own mess for hours or days is a horrific punishment. Yelling, threatening or neglecting a patient all constitute emotional abuse.
Emotional abuse may also result from neglecting the psychological needs of patients. For instance, if a person has smoked his whole life, have provisions been made for his chemical and psychological dependency to cigarettes? If a person has a tendency to wander, will she be placed in a unit where she can explore without endangering her safety? If a patient rings the call bell, will he be given assistance immediately or will the nurse shut the call bell off and then tend to other patients?
Our loved ones have been self-sufficient most of their lives. Now, when they are placed in the care of another person, they must fully rely on nurses and aids for help with even the simplest tasks. If they cannot communicate their needs, or if their needs are being ignored, they might be suffering from emotional abuse.
Contact a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer
At The Javerbaum Wurgaft Nursing Home Group we represent clients throughout New Jersey who have suffered emotional abuse in nursing homes. We are committed to giving elderly people the dignified care they deserve. Contact our firm online or call 856-596-4100 to schedule your free initial consultation with a New Jersey attorney experienced in handling cases of nursing home abuse and neglect.