Verbal abuse or belittling can always have damaging health effects, causing depression, anxiety, insomnia and even suicide. While all populations can feel the effects of verbal abuse, senior citizens who are dependent upon nursing homes or caretakers are one segment of the population at great risk. Stressed nursing home staff, lack of sufficient staff supervision or background checks and improper nursing home policies can all cause seniors to fall victim to verbal abuse or belittling. As Atlanta, Georgia Elder Abuse Attorneys we know this is a big problem, especially among seniors who cannot or will not speak up for themselves, such as those suffering from dementia.

Seniors, whether they are living in a nursing home facility, assisted living facility or are being cared for in their own home, have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, when this doesn't occur and a senior citizen is subject to verbal abuse or belittling, the abuse can have serious and far-reaching effects. In fact, according to the Senior Journal, seniors who experience either physical or mental abuse are three times more likely to die within three years than seniors who are in an environment free of abuse.

If you have been the victim of senior abuse in a nursing home or if your loved one has been victimized by verbal abuse or belittling, it is important to take action. This means not only reporting the abuse so it can be investigated and stopped, but also contacting an Atlanta, Georgia Elder Abuse Attorney who can assist with filing a lawsuit against the nursing home to recover compensation.

Verbal Abuse as a Form of Elder Abuse

Georgia nursing home abuse takes many forms and, verbal abuse, like physical abuse, can happen in any nursing home and can happen to any senior. Verbal abuse or belittling can include yelling at seniors, making threats, swearing, or any belittling statements or acts that cause seniors to experience mental anguish, pain or humiliation. Seniors are often afraid to speak up about verbal abuse because they are afraid of the threats that their abuser has made or because they feel dependent upon their caregivers. Other seniors simply cannot speak up for themselves or, because of conditions like dementia, it can be hard to determine if the senior is giving an accurate account of what is occurring.

One big problem with verbal abuse is that, unlike physical abuse, it doesn't like marks or bruises- the scars are emotional. For family members who want to monitor for signs of abuse, therefore, it can be difficult to detect when verbal abuse is occurring. The National Center on Elder Abuse suggests looking for signs of verbal abuse including changes in normal behavior patterns or withdrawal from normal activities.

Getting Legal Help from an Atlanta, Georgia Elder Abuse Attorney

If you suspect that your loved one is being verbally abused or if you are a victim of verbal abuse, you have the right to take action. Nursing homes who admit a senior as a patient have a duty to provide reasonable care for that patient, which means tending not just to physical needs but also to emotional needs. When a senior is abused, the nursing home can be held accountable and made to provide compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering and emotional distress, among other damages.

For help taking action against senior abuse, contact a Atlanta, Georgia Elder Abuse Attorney. At Van Sant Law, LLC, we fight vigorously for our abused clients, helping to give them back their voice and to get justice from a nursing home that has caused them harm. To learn more about how our Atlanta, Georgia Elder Abuse Attorneys can help you, give us a call at (404) 991-5950 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.
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