A recent news story out of Illinois highlights one of the lesser known types of abuse in nursing homes—emotional abuse. The nursing home is facing a lawsuit after two staff members allegedly taunted a 91-year-old dementia patient on Snapchat while at work.
The family of the dementia patient allege that the two employees were waving a hospital gown at her, which they knew caused her fear and anxiety. The caption on the video made it appear that the two employees thought this act was funny.
The staff members have reportedly been terminated from the nursing home, but the family of the patient and the patient herself are still dealing with the consequences of their actions. This scenario brings up a less-talked about form of elder abuse.
Typically with nursing home or elder care cases, visible issues like bruises, bed sores, or broken bones are brought to light. However, emotional abuse like bullying and taunting, can be just as damaging to an elderly person. This is especially true if they have a memory disorder like dementia. Unfortunately, emotional abuse in nursing homes is far less reported because the signs are not as visible and perpetrators are rarely caught in the act of abuse.
If you start to notice that a loved one in a nursing home has become withdrawn or non-communicative, displays emotional disturbance or agitation, or begins to behave differently if certain people are in the room, there’s a chance they could be a victim of emotional abuse.
No person deserves to go through the emotional trauma of intentional bullying, threats, or distress—especially our elders who we trust others to take care of.
Any type of elder abuse or neglect can be devastating. Take time to educate yourself on the different kinds of abuse and neglect and their symptoms. Oftentimes, family or friends are the only ones who can be a voice for their loved one in a nursing home.
If you or someone you know has been victim of emotional abuse at a nursing home, call Powers Taylor today. Our experienced attorneys have handled a wide variety of elder abuse and neglect cases. We fight for those without a voice.