The Danger of Psychological Abuse in Nursing Homes

Madeleine Jones
February 27, 2017

nurse pointing to a senior, nursing homePsychological nursing home abuse is more difficult to detect, but can be just as damaging as physical mistreatment. Such abuse may be verbal or non-verbal. As a subset of elder abuse, it often comes with other forms of abuse as well. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a nursing home, call an experienced Las Vegas injury lawyer at Cogburn Law Offices today for a free case consultation.

More about Psychological Abuse

In 2013, every nursing home in Nevada received citations by inspectors for various types of abuse caused by neglect. As of 2014, the situation has improved, but there are still widespread issues.

In nursing homes, individuals have power over the residents to one extent or another. It’s easy for them to abuse that power in a number of ways.

  • Isolating residents or excluding them from activities
  • Ignoring residents, especially for long periods of time
  • Outright lying to residents in any capacity
  • Making direct or indirect threats to residents
  • Belittling or mocking residents or their conditions

Psychological abuse can lead to depression, hospitalization, and increased medical bills.

How to Tell if Someone Suffers from Psychological Abuse

Caretakers and family may notice some outright signs during visits. They may see how staff treats their loved one, or otherwise see something going on that gives them pause. For example, they may see a staff member speaking in a threatening manner to a resident, or staff ignoring someone who needs help.

Some of the physical signs of psychological abuse can include any or all of the following:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Rocking and/or mumbling
  • Fearful looks and trepidation
  • Signs of depression
  • Signs of self-harm

Any sign of fear or withdrawal can represent a sign of mental or emotional distress. Sudden anxiety, or extreme changes in behavior, also indicates abuse.

Psychological Abuse is One Aspect of Elder Abuse

Since psychological abuse represents just one part of elder abuse, it can point to the possibility of other types of abuse occurring. A nursing home attorney can mount a defense for a nursing home resident who shows signs of psychological abuse.

The attorney will gather evidence, launch an investigation, and look into the claims. The Las Vegas nursing home abuse attorneys at Cogburn Law Offices will do their part to help the resident. In doing so, their efforts will ensure the entire nursing home is that much safer for all the residents.