Elder abuse is a serious problem in America. Millions of elderly individuals are abused each year in this country. One estimate states that 1 in 10 Americans 60 years and older are victims of abuse. Elder abuse occurs in any setting, including in nursing homes, assisted care facilities, hospitals, and at home. Additionally, elder abuse takes many forms.

What Constitutes Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse can take one of several different forms. Most people think about physical abuse when they hear about elder abuse. However, there are other forms of elder abuse, including:

  • Financial abuse;
  • Verbal abuse;
  • Neglect; and,
  • Emotional abuse.

Knowing the warning signs of elder abuse can help prevent matters from becoming worse. Because elder abuse increases a person’s risk of death by 300 percent, it is crucial that you check on loved ones on a regular basis and look for signs of abuse or neglect.

What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is often overlooked because it does not result in outward signs of physical harm. However, emotional abuse can result in severe depression, anxiety, mental anguish, and emotional trauma. A senior citizen subjected to emotional abuse can be mentally scarred for the rest of his or her life. Emotional abuse prevents a person from living the life he or she wants.

When a caregiver abuses a senior, it is devastating for the senior. Trust is fragile. When trust is broken, it is very difficult for the senior citizens to trust other people. Abuse has a significant impact on his or her relationship with others, causing even more pain.

What Are The Signs Of Emotional Abuse?

Even though emotional abuse may not be as easily recognized as other forms of elder abuse, emotional abuse does have several signs. Some of the common signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Depression and withdrawal
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fear of staff members
  • Begging family and friends not to leave or not to leave him or her alone
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Low self-esteem
  • Desire to hurt themselves or others
  • Sudden changes in sleeping habits or eating habits

What Do I Do If I Suspect Emotional Abuse?

It is important that you report any suspected abuse immediately to the nursing home. The nursing home should conduct an immediate investigation. Kentucky is a mandatory reporting state; therefore, the law requires you to report any suspected elder abuse. File a report anonymously by calling the 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-877-597-2331 or 1-800-752-6200.

In addition to reporting elder abuse to the state, contact a Kentucky elder abuse attorney as soon as possible. Your loved one has legal rights. A Kentucky elder abuse attorney can assist in holding the abusers responsible for their actions, including filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

Contact the Shelton Law Group by calling 1-888-761-7204 or by using our online contact form. Our Kentucky nursing home abuse attorneys want to help you and your loved one fight for justice against the individuals responsible for the elder abuse. Your loved one may be entitled to receive compensation for his or her injuries. Call us today to begin the process of stopping elder abuse.