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.
Do You Suspect Your Loved One Is Being Subjected To Nursing Home Abuse?
If you believe your loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse you should speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 855.GA.INJURY or 404.991.5950 to schedule your free consultation.