Emotional Abuse of the Elderly – It’s Real, It, Hurts, and It’s Potentially Fatal
Emotional Abuse of the Elderly…It’s Real, It Hurts, and It’s Potentially Fatal!
When I speak with clients and community groups about nursing home abuse, the first thing they mention is rough treatment and physical signs of abuse that leave visible bruises. They are right, but there’s more to it than that. Unfortunately, nursing home residents are subjected to types of abuse that are invisible to the naked eye.
Emotional abuse includes ridiculing an elderly person, blaming them for something beyond their control, humiliating them for something like having a bathroom accident,
yelling or making fun of them and even completely ignoring them and their needs. These actions constitute serious emotional abuse situations and violate New Jersey’s “Nursing Home Bill of Rights”.
One of the worst things about emotional abuse of the elderly in nursing homes is that many of our loved ones are too scared to speak up or are unable to because of demential or other condition. They suffer in silence with fear that pointing a finger will make matters worse. Or, because they don’t have physical proof of the abuse, they think no one will believe them.
Emotional elder abuse is a rampant problem in America. The American Public Health Association says that as of 2010, emotional and physical abuse is the most common type of elder abuse. Unfortunately, though, it is believed that more than 50 percent of elderly people who feel neglected in nursing homes didn’t speak up until it was too late.
Some other statistics worth noting when it comes to elder abuse:
In 2010, about 2/3 of victims are female
About 66 percent of victims were white, about 19 percent were black and 10 percent were Hispanic
The average age of someone suffering from abuse in nursing homes is about 78
If you believe your elderly relative is being abused in a nursing home, in an assisted living facility or even at home by a home health aide, it’s critically important that you do your best to protect them. Signs of abuse include avoiding eye contact, seeming increasingly hopeless about their situation, exhibiting extreme fear, requests not to speak in front of certain people in the nursing home and others.
Call skilled nursing home abuse lawyer Barry Sugarman for a free consultation about your case. He is passionate about protecting victims of nursing home abuse and will fight for your loved one’s rights. Contact him today.