Abuse can take many forms in the nursing home environment, all of which can be equally damaging to a resident’s well-being. If you have a loved one currently residing in a nursing home, it is important to be aware of the potential for emotional abuse to occur.
Emotional abuse can be a subtle variety of harassment that your family member might not feel safe disclosing to you. That is why you should do your part to recognize the telltale signs that might crop up when a loved one is a victim of emotional abuse.
1. Attempts to prevent visits
If a nursing home staff member puts up resistance or blatantly declines your request to visit your loved one, either in person or over the phone, then something is clearly wrong. The National Consumer Voice explains that residents have the right to receive visitors at the time of their choosing, meaning that staff members have no right to decline visitors.
2. Demeaning remarks from staff members
Threats, gossip or other comments from a staff member regarding either your loved one or any other resident could be an indication of emotional abuse. It is possible they are making similar comments directly to residents and making their patients feel uncomfortable or even exploited.
3. Noticeable withdrawal
Perhaps the most alarming sign of all is when your loved one withdraws from you. A sudden lack of communication often indicates a deeper problem, such as a poor mental state or an unsafe environment.
It is important for your loved one to have a way to contact you from within the nursing home so that you can take action when they need you. If it becomes apparent that your family member is a victim of emotional abuse, it may be necessary to pursue legal measures.