Four Signs Your Loved One Is Being Emotionally Abused In Their Nursing Home

There are many forms of abuse of the elderly that can occur in nursing homes. The elderly can be subjected to physical abuse but also emotional abuse. They can be bullied, ridiculed and humiliated in many ways. However, unlike physical abuse that can manifest itself in bruises and broken bones, emotional abuse can be more difficult to detect. The following are just a few signs to look for.

Feelings of depression

Depression is a serious medical issue and should get the attention of a doctor. However, if your loved one has never shown signs of depression in the past, but seems depressed now, this could be a sign of abuse. Elderly people who are in rest homes often feel helpless when abused and adapt by developing a state of depression.

Expressing fear

Any expression of fear, even an apprehension, around a particular caregiver on the staff of the nursing home could be a sign of abuse. You know your loved one best, so if they are displaying anger, it may be they simply do not like a member of the staff. But when you detect apprehension, it may be due to something serious such as emotional abuse.

Taking blame for insignificant things

This is commonly seen in the elderly who are suffering emotional abuse. When you are visiting your loved one, they may express guilt over something that is not worth mentioning. It is often something they are not likely to be at fault for, yet they are persistent in wanting to take the blame for it. This type of behavior will be something that your loved one has seldom done in the past.


This is a condition that mimics dementia found in the elderly, but is not dementia at all. Your loved one can become withdrawn and mumble to themselves, but it has less to do with the brain than an elderly person withdrawing from the world due to emotional abuse. Sometimes it can be the result of depression, but depression can also be a sign of emotional abuse. Signs of pseudodementia begin to wane once the cause of the emotional abuse is removed or the person is taken away from the abusive environment.

If you notice any signs of emotional abuse, you should do your best to talk to your loved one about their living conditions. Based upon the evidence you can gather, you may want to consider transferring your loved one to a different facility. In addition, you should consult with an attorney that has experience in nursing home abuse to find out your legal rights and options. Click here for info on this topic.

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