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Emotional Abuse of Nursing Home Residents: Hidden But Still Traumatic for the Victims

sad elderly womanOne of the more challenging types of abuse and neglect to spot in residents of nursing homes is emotional abuse—also known as psychological abuse. That is because there are no physical injuries, paper trails, or other outward evidence that the abuse is going on unless it's witnessed by another resident, staff member, family member, or you. Your loved one may be suffering through frequent episodes of emotional abuse in silence, resulting in psychological damage.

What Is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse occurs when someone taking care of the victim causes him or her to suffer emotional pain or stress. It can take many forms, including:

  • Humiliation or ridicule of the nursing home resident
  • Frequent blaming, scapegoating, or demeaning behavior toward the senior
  • Intimidation of the elderly resident, often by threatening or yelling at her
  • Isolation of the elderly person from her family, friends, or other residents
  • Terrorizing or menacing the resident
  • Ignoring the nursing home resident

Watch for These Signs of Psychological Abuse

Although sometimes subtle, your loved one could be exhibiting signs that she's being emotionally abused. You want to look for the following symptoms of psychological abuse:

  • She acts disturbed, scared, or hopeless or has low self-esteem.
  • She avoids eye contact and does not talk openly to others or you.
  • She seems withdrawn, depressed, or shy when previously, she was more upbeat and outgoing.
  • She expresses a desire to hurt herself or others.
  • She exhibits sudden changes in eating patterns, sleep, or moods.
  • She's prevented from seeing or calling other people or you.
  • She's prevented from making decisions or taking actions.
  • She isn't allowed to join in social interactions at the nursing home.


Do you recognize the signs of psychological abuse in a loved one? You may need to pursue her right to compensation for nursing home neglect and abuse for her. Call our firm today at 888.716.8021 today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your loved one’s legal options and how I can help you enforce them.