Elder abuse is a growing problem in the United States and one that only projects to further deteriorate over the next few decades. With baby-boomers reaching advanced ages, the responsibilities of caring for this precious demographic has shifted to nursing homes, hospitals, adult care facilities and other health care professionals. These individuals are placed in the unique position of caring for individuals who often times are unable to care for themselves. It is a job that requires an advanced level of care, patience and understanding. Tragically, not only do our elderly population fail to receive the proper level of care and nurturing they require, but they are often subject to a harsh form of elder abuse known as emotional abuse or elder psychological abuse. Elders are particularly vulnerable to emotional abuse because they are easy targets and are kept silent by their perpetrators. Furthermore, the victims of elder emotional abuse become reliant on their aggressors, and fear retaliation and other consequences of voicing their displeasure. Making matters worse, emotional elder abuse almost always associated with some other form of elder abuse such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect or even financial abuse. If you or a loved one has been the victim of emotional, psychological or mental abuse, please contact our elder abuse attorney for a free case evaluation of your claim. The call is free, and you will never have to pay to speak to one of our attorneys.
What is Emotional Elder Abuse?
Emotional elder abuse is the intentional infliction of mental, psychological or emotional anguish on an older person. Despite the common perception, emotional abuse can be both verbal and nonverbal. Common examples of elder emotional abuse are:
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Verbal Emotional Elder Abuse
- Spoken threats, intimidation or humiliation
- Regular yelling, screaming, degrading or harassment
- Placing blame
Nonverbal Emotional Elder Abuse
- Isolation or confinement from contacting other people or engaging in activities
- Putting the victim in a constant state of fear
- Ignoring the elder
- Withholding emotional support or neglect
- Treating the elderly person like a child or infant such as not allowing them to make their own decisions, speaking in a condescending tone or making unnecessary comments.
- Violation of rights – most commonly when the elderly privacy is taken away
Emotional abuse can happen at the older person’s home by a caregiver, in nursing homes and hospitals by staff and medical professionals, or even by family members or friends.
Signs of Emotional Elder Abuse
Unlike other types of elder abuse, it is not always immediately apparent that an older person might be subject to emotional abuse. Emotional abuse often does not carry any physical appearances abuse, but rather the toll is locked up within the fragile psyche of the older person. Furthermore, older people are more likely to fall prey to emotional abuse because their perpetrators are so commonly successful at keeping their victims quite and isolated from people who may be able to provide help. Therefore, unless the victim themselves report the elder abuse, it is important to look for signs of psychological abuse. Even when the victim denies that they are being subject to emotional assaults, a caregiver or loved one should be on the lookout for the following:
- Elder is growing increasingly angry, especially when unprovoked
- Anxiousness, depression, or withdrawn
- Sudden deviation from eating or sleeping habits
- Lack of communication
- No or low self-esteem
Making matters more difficult is the fact that some elder patients exhibit such behavior even in the absence of emotional abuse. Perhaps this is the main reason they are ignored when they do complain, making it increasingly difficult to voice their abuse. If you feel that a loved one has been affected, please call our elder abuse attorney at no charge.
Treating Emotional Elder Abuse: Helping Victims Get Back to Normal
Emotional elder abuse not only effects older people psychologically, but can also manifest itself physically and lead to a rapid deterioration in health. First and foremost, victims should immediately be removed from the harmful environment. Additionally, the older person may require counseling to help cope with the emotional effects of their abuse. Many times, the elderly simply need someone to talk to in order to help them feel better. Other times, doctors may prescribe medicines that help alleviate the consequences of emotional abuse. Medicines can be prescribed to allow the person to sleep, or to calm a person who was tormented and subject to constant rage and fear by the perpetrator.
Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney
Nothing anybody can do can erase the unfortunate ordeal of emotional elder abuse. However, in your time of need, our team of attorneys will perform a thorough investigation into the person or facility where the abuse took place. Insurance companies, hospitals, nursing homes and other places where elder abuse occurs are under a heightened duty of responsibility to care for our older brothers and sisters. Most importantly, Downtown L.A. Law Group will make sure that not only will you or your loved one be treated with the utmost respect and care, but also that their abuse will never happen again. Please contact us today for a free case evaluation and to speak directly to an elder abuse attorney at (855) 339-8879.