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Verbal Abuse in Nursing Homes

Making the decision to place a family member or loved one in a nursing home is incredibly difficult. Everyone wants to ensure that their loved one will be getting the best care possible. The elderly deserve to be treated with the utmost respect and receive top quality care. Unfortunately, sometimes there are incidents of both physical and emotional abuse in nursing homes. One common type of emotional abuse in nursing homes is verbal abuse.

Verbal abuse can be destructive to someone’s health. Many people feel emotionally vulnerable when moving into a nursing home and being dependent on other people to provide their care. Because of this emotional vulnerability, verbal abuse can be especially destructive to their health and well-being. Verbal abuse occurs when a staff member of the nursing home causes a resident to feel pain, distress or fear because of the way they speak to a resident. The residents in a nursing home are usually in the position where the staff have authority, which may make it difficult for a resident to respond or report mistreatment.

Some examples of possible verbal abuse include:

  • Yelling or screaming at the resident
  • Threatening the resident
  • Insulting the resident
  • Blaming the resident for things that occur
  • Speaking to the resident as if they are a child

This abuse can be caused by the frustration and impatience of the nursing home staff. Caring for patients in nursing homes is a stressful job, but this is no excuse to mistreat or verbally abuse residents. Even though the job is difficult, it is imperative that staff members remain respectful to the residents at all times. The elderly deserve the best care possible and as such staff need to ensure they are addressing each resident’s needs with kindness.

Verbal abuse can cause patients to feel emotional vulnerability and cause stress. This stress can cause the resident’s immune system to weaken, thus making them more susceptible to viruses and infections. Because of the potential for negative physical and emotional effects, people should be aware of the signs of abuse. Some signs of abuse include depression, low self-esteem, changes in personality and excessive fear or nervousness. Verbal abuse should never happen. If you suspect your loved one may be experiencing this type of abuse, you may want to consider contacting an experienced attorney to see what can be done.


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