Examples of Verbal Abuse in Nursing Homes
Verbal abuse is one of the most common types of abuse in nursing home environments. It can often be difficult to identify the signs of verbal abuse in a nursing home. Learn more about what nursing home abuse may look like and what you can do about it if you suspect a loved one may be a victim.
What is Verbal Nursing Home Abuse?
Verbal nursing home abuse occurs when someone is abusive with their words. Nursing home abuse may include:
- Calling a resident derogatory or hurtful names
- Threatening or intimidating residents
- Criticizing or punishing a resident
- Treating the patient like they’re a child
These are just a few examples of verbal nursing home abuse. There are many things that can lead to verbal abuse in a nursing home, including a lack of training or frustration in a stressful work situation.
How to Recognize Verbal Abuse
Sometimes, it can be more difficult to recognize verbal abuse, especially when compared to the signs of physical abuse. Unlike physical abuse, verbal abuse doesn’t leave the victim with cuts or bruises. Instead, the resident may appear fearful or isolated. They may retreat and stop doing the activities they once enjoyed.
The problem with this is that because many seniors are also dealing with chronic medical conditions, including cognitive disorders, it’s easy to blame these signs on that instead. A few signs of verbal abuse may include fearfulness, lowered self-esteem, agitation, or insomnia. The resident may also be scared or isolated from the caregivers they once accepted.
While some of these signs on their own may not indicate verbal abuse, it does mean that the situation is worth looking into. This is especially true if the signs appear out of nowhere.
How to Prevent Verbal Abuse
When you choose a nursing home location for your loved ones, you want them to receive the best care possible. This includes an environment that is free from danger or verbal abuse. It’s important to review any potential nursing homes ahead of time. In addition to talking with the staff and your loved one’s potential caregivers, it can also be helpful to talk with other patients and their families.
Once you choose a nursing home, regular visits are important. Regular visits not only provide you with a baseline to which you can compare any new signs but also gives you the opportunity to meet your loved one’s caregivers. If you do suspect verbal abuse, you’re also likely to notice it faster.
What to Do If You Suspect Abuse
If you suspect your loved one may be the victim of abuse, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Remove the family member from the dangerous situation and report the abuse to the appropriate authorities. You should notify the nursing home too, as well as the local police if you believe your loved one is in immediate danger. You can also file an official complaint with the State of New Jersey Department of Health at 1-800-792-9770 or the New Jersey Office of the Ombudsman at 1-609-633-6251.
Contact a Jersey City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today
Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home negligence or abuse in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Sugarman Law Firm represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Jersey City, Newark, Paterson, and Clifton. Call (732) 877-1975 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 80 East Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876, as well as an office in Marlton, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.