When Chicago residents move their loved ones to assisted living homes, their biggest fear is often elder abuse. Typically, there are common signs of abuse and neglect, including bedsores, bruises, malnutrition and other physical indicators. Emotional abuse, on the other hand, is a much tougher to spot. But there are specific signs of this kind of abuse that should not be ignored.
Recent studies have shown that more than 435,000 individuals have been victims of emotional abuse in elderly homes. It is important to understand what constitutes emotional abuse. For stubborn patients, the nursing staff may have to be stern at times in order to get them to take medicine or eat. This is not, on its own, abuse. But humiliating, threatening or intimidating them is, as is ignoring or isolating them. The nurses’ first and foremost responsibility is the wellbeing of their patients, and using these kinds of tactics hinders this goal.
If your loved one is in an elder care home, here are some signs to be on the lookout for. First, if they have lower self-esteem than they once did, or they seem hopeless, they may feel fear toward their nurses. In addition, if they avoid eye contact or refuse to elaborate on their experiences in the home, they may feel threatened. Other signs include mood swings, changes in sleeping and eating patterns and feeling isolated.
If you notice any of these signs, you should first notify government officials. They can make inquiries into the day-to-day life in the elderly home. If you are unsure where to start, a nursing home law attorney may be able to help.