Mental Abuse in Nursing Homes

Has someone you love been the victim of mental abuse in a nursing home? Call Chris Hudson Law Group to help you pursue justice against the wrongdoer.

Emotionals or mental abuse in a nursing home occurs when a caregiver at a nursing facility causes a resident fear, anguish, mental pain, or distress. Mental abuse can come in many forms and can be much harder to spot than physical abuse due to the lack of outward signs.

If someone you love has been victimized by mental abuse at a nursing home, you don’t have to handle the problem alone. There are people who can help. An attorney experienced in dealing with insurance claims and lawsuits concerning nursing home abuse or negligence can help you and your family get the compensation you need to move on.

Contact Chris Hudson Law Group today at (706) 863-6600 or fill in our contact form to set up a free consultation. We’ll discuss how we can help you get justice and the money you need to cover additional medical or caregiver bills as well as compensate for pain and suffering.

Types and Causes of Mental Abuse in Nursing Homes

Mental, psychological, and emotional abuse are far more common than physical abuse in care facilities because they are easier to inflict, hard to detect, and harder to prove. According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization in 2020, one out of three caregivers at a nursing facility admitted to emotionally abusing a resident.

Eldercare facility residents are at particularly high risk for mental abuse because they are more vulnerable. They may not be able to avoid interacting with an abusive staff member due to a lack of mobility or because they need help completing daily tasks. Many elder care facility residents suffer from some form of cognitive impairment that may also prevent them from speaking out about mental abuse at the hands of a caretaker.

Emotional or mental abuse covers a wide array of harmful or negligent treatment and is doubly dangerous because it’s so much more difficult to detect. A resident might be afraid to report mental abuse for fear of retaliation from staff or may be physically unable to speak about a staff member causing them emotional stress.

Some forms of mental abuse at nursing home facilities include the following:

  • Yelling at a resident
  • Name-calling
  • Mocking
  • Threats
  • Shaming
  • Humiliation
  • Denying access to food or medication
  • Ignoring requests for help
  • Involuntary confinement
  • Denying access to visitors
  • Gossip
  • Bullying

The causes of mental abuse at care facilities are usually understaffing, lack of training, or negligence. If a care center does not have adequate staff to care for its residents, a caretaker may lash out at residents who require more care than others, leading to a cycle of psychological abuse, intentional or otherwise. Poorly trained staff may not be sensitive to the needs of particular residents and could make them feel unwanted or undeserving of care.

If you or a family member has suffered mental abuse like what’s listed above, don’t wait to get help. The attorneys at Chris Hudson Law Group specialize in nursing home abuse cases and have the knowledge and experience to help you get justice.

How to Spot the Signs of Mental Abuse

Signs of mental or emotional abuse are varied. They can also easily be confused with many other physical states, such as adjusting to a new care facility or trying a new medication. Because psychological abuse at a nursing care facility can be so hard to detect, it’s important to know what to look for. Some signs of mental abuse can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear of being left alone
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of desire to socialize
  • Depression
  • Self-soothing behaviors, like rocking or rubbing hands together
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Violent acting out
  • Appearing visibly disturbed or upset
  • Lack of personal hygiene

If you see evidence of these or other signs of emotional abuse in a nursing home resident, it’s time to speak to them about their experience.

How to Prevent Mental Abuse at a Nursing Home

Preventing mental abuse at a nursing home starts with researching the facility before you commit a loved one to their care. This may include looking for reports of previous instances of abuse, talking to the staff about their work and how they care for residents, or speaking to the administration about hiring practices, the training provided for new hires, and the rate of staff turnover.

If a nursing care facility is unwilling to answer questions or provide documentation describing the level of care they provide, it’s probably a good sign to look elsewhere for elder care.

It’s also important to visit the facility and see for yourself the conditions provided for its residents. Does the staff appear rushed or overworked? Do the residents appear calm and in good health? Do they have adequate supervision? Does the facility itself appear clean and well-attended? If the answer to any of these questions is no, consider whether the facility is right for you or your family member.

The most important part of preventing psychological abuse at a nursing home is continuing to play an active role in the life of the loved one you place in their care. If the resident feels they have no one to speak to about a problem with a caretaker, it’s likely the abuse will continue and may worsen over time. Keep lines of communication open and active, so they know they always have someone to contact in case of any trouble.

What Should You Do If You See Signs of Mental Abuse at a Care Facility?

If you spot the signs of psychological abuse at a nursing home, it’s important to act quickly. There’s no telling how long the abuse has been underway or how long it may continue. You should remove the resident from the abusive situation immediately and seek medical attention for them, if necessary. Contact Adult Protective Services or the facility’s ombudsman to notify them of the abuse so they can take immediate corrective action.

There is no excuse for abuse at a facility designed to attend to the needs of our most vulnerable populations. If you or someone you love is the victim of abuse at a care facility, you deserve justice and compensation.

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer About Your Case

Contact a lawyer who specializes in nursing home abuse cases from the Chris Hudson Law Group today to set up a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Call (706) 863-6600 or fill in our contact form and someone from our office will call you back.  We can help guide you through the legal pitfalls associated with nursing home abuse claims. We are dedicated to helping get your family the justice your loved one deserves.

Last Updated : October 22, 2022