When we talk about abuse, many people’s minds automatically go to physical abuse. However, studies have shown that emotional abuse can have effects that are just as detrimental as physical abuse.
Unfortunately, emotional abuse is a common form of elder abuse and is often an issue cited in elder care home environments.
Victims of emotional abuse may have a hard time expressing what they are going through, but there are many signs that may present themselves if emotional abuse is occurring.
Read on to learn more about signs that your loved one may be experiencing emotional abuse in their elder care home and what you can do about it.
What Is Emotional Abuse?
Emotional abuse is often referred to as psychological abuse. While the abuser may not be inflicting physical harm on an individual, they are behaving in ways that cause feelings such as anxiety, fear, paranoia, and intimidation.
Emotional abuse may take the form of yelling, taunting, or blaming an individual for things that are out of their control. Any behavior that knowingly or purposefully results in psychological damage is emotional abuse. At times, neglect (a common issue in elder care homes) may also constitute emotional abuse depending on the results of said neglect.
The Bureau of Justice includes psychological abuse in their definition of possible types of elder abuse. Elder abuse is illegal in all 50 states and anyone inflicting elder abuse can be taken to court.
Signs of Emotional Abuse in an Elder Care Home
As we mentioned earlier, your loved one may have difficulty telling you what is happening to them. Oftentimes, one result of emotional abuse is perceived isolation, where the victim feels that they have nowhere to turn for help. Look for these signs that your loved one may be the victim of emotional abuse in their elder care home:
- Lowered self-esteem
- Avoidance of eye contact
- Self-injurious or self-destructive behavior
- Behaviors or words that seem distrustful, scared, or even paranoid
- New or increased depression
- New or increased anxiety
- Mood swings
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Isolation caused by others (ie: the elder care home staff)
If you begin to notice several or all of these symptoms in your loved one, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Keep reading to find out what you can do next.
How to Report Emotional Abuse
If you suspect that an elderly person is the victim of emotional abuse, consult an elder abuse attorney. Proving that abuse is occurring in an elder care home requires an investigation and clear proof. An attorney can help you build your case and ensure that it is airtight before you report the abuse.
Beltz & Beltz Is Here to Help
Emotional abuse may not leave physical scars, but it can cause serious damage to an individual’s mental health. If you believe that your loved one is experiencing emotional abuse in their elder care home, Beltz & Beltz is here to help.
Contact us to begin your consultation and get started on your case. We are invested in helping to protect your loved one.