While the adult children of elderly parents often equate nursing home abuse with physical signs and symptoms, the resident can struggle with abuse in many forms. One type of nursing home abuse that elderly residents might suffer is verbal abuse that can lead to emotional damage. With no visible signs that can be directly tied to communication, it can be challenging to uncover the root cause of depression or other personality changes.
When a nursing home staff member says something that causes emotional pain, distress or fear, it is said that the resident is experiencing verbal abuse. Unfortunately, the abuse can come in many forms, including:
- Yelling or shouting at the resident
- Insulting the resident
- Using disparaging or demeaning nicknames
- Using threatening language
- Unwarranted criticism
- Accusations and blame for general issues
- Rude comments
Unfortunately, this type of abuse can be difficult to uncover as it will leave no visible signs. Additionally, other nursing home residents might avoid speaking up to help the individual experiencing the abuse for fear of retribution by the staff member or staff members. This can lead to the victim of abuse feeling alone in their struggles and isolated from any help. Most often, those struggling with verbal abuse feel depression, sluggishness, anxiety and nervousness. This can affect their sleeping patterns, eating habits and self-esteem.
With an elderly parent receiving care in a facility, an adult child must be careful to recognize any signs and symptoms of verbal and emotional abuse taking place at the nursing home. While some signs can be subtle, it is generally easy to spot changes in personality and behavior.