When people place their loved ones, the expectation is that they will take care of them. The last thing that anyone expects is for their loved one to be emotionally or mentally abused. Emotional or mental abuse in a nursing home situation may include somebody yelling at a resident, cursing at a resident, denying them food or other care that they need, leaving them sitting in their own waste, coming to take care of them, etc.
It is difficult for somebody to bring a nursing home abuse claim on their own. The best thing an individual can do is to look for an experienced Palm Beach Gardens nursing home emotional and mental abuse lawyer who can fight for their rights. A compassionate nursing home abuse attorney could fight tirelessly in defense of a person’s loved ones.
Warning Signs of Emotional Abuse
Warning signs of emotional abuse are a lot like warning signs of other abuse. They include a change in the victim’s behavior, somebody expressing fear that they have, and physical manifestations. Often times, when people are being emotionally abused, they stop eating. Thus, weight loss also can be a sign of emotional abuse.
People Vulnerable to Emotional Abuse
The most vulnerable patients to any type of abuse in a nursing home are those who have significant memory loss, people who cannot speak up for themselves, people with significant physical limitations, and people who do not have family and friends that come to visit them often.
Common Examples of Emotional or Mental Abuse
Common examples of emotional and mental abuse are yelling and screaming at a resident, denying them access to friends and family, denying them access to participate in activities within the nursing home, leaving them sitting in their own waste, not taking them out of the nursing home, and not taking them into areas in which they can have involvement with other people. In other words, isolating a resident can be a common form of emotional abuse.
Mental and emotional abuse immediately cause fear, anxiety, mental pain, and mental suffering that can then manifest or show itself in physical ways, such as people stopping eating. Long-term significant mental or emotional abuse can lead to death. The nursing home resident just shuts down in some cases. A Palm Beach Gardens nursing home emotional and mental abuse lawyer could help an individual pursue compensation for the impact that the abuse has had on them.
Duty of Care in Nursing Homes
The duty of the nursing home to protect the patient is to ensure that the patient is free from mental and physical abuse, and that is the overwhelming obligation of a nursing home. They need to have systems in place, that are actually acted upon, that minimize or eliminate the risk of physical and emotional abuse. Whether the abuse is coming from other residents, from an employee, or from one of the caregivers does not change the fact that the nursing home has an obligation to protect the residents.
The response of a nursing home should not differ based on whether the alleged abuser is a resident or a staff member. The first concern is the safety of the resident, so they have to take steps to ensure that the residents are safe from the immediate danger. The second step is to figure out, going forward, how to deal with the danger. This can involve contacting the police, firing the employee, and discovering why an alleged abuser who is also a resident has begun acting out. If they cannot figure out how to deal with that the issue and make it so that the resident is not acting out, then that resident needs to be transferred out of the facility. A Palm Beach Gardens nursing home emotional and mental abuse lawyer figure out what steps they should take.
How Determination of Liability Changes if Management Did Not Know
Actual knowledge is not necessary to hold somebody accountable and liable. Often times, they should have known about the abuse, and putting their heads in the sand and not paying attention to what is happening is not an excuse. The other issue is that a lot of the abuse and neglect that goes on in a nursing home happens because management is trying to save money by not hiring enough staff and they do not have enough staff to meet the needs of the residents. Even though they may not know of the actual abuse when it is occurring, they have a system that is set up that allows it to occur.
Contacting a Palm Beach Gardens Nursing Home Emotional and Mental Abuse Attorney
Anytime an individual sees abuse in a nursing home, the first thing that they have to do is worry about the safety of the resident and figure out either how to get them away from the abuse or how to get the abuser away from them. The next thing they ought to do is to call an experienced Palm Beach Gardens nursing home emotional and mental abuse lawyer that could help them understand their rights and the next steps. A capable and compassionate attorney could help hold the responsible party accountable.