Elder abuse doesn’t always have physical effects

You’ve noticed a different tone to your weekly visits or phone call check-ins with your relative in a nursing home. When you can’t stop by in-person, you find comfort in knowing you helped pick out their assisted living care facility due to its great care options and friendly staff. But the last time you chatted up your aging loved one, you noticed their mood was not the same and they had a sense of fear in their voice.

Aging can be scary and people of any age can have bad days, but, at the same time, elder abuse is a real problem. In fact, it’s estimated that 1 in 10 Americans who are 60 years of age or older, have experienced some form of elder abuse. Just as abuse can be both psychological and physical, symptoms can also impact a victim’s body and brain health.

Emotional signs of abuse

Some common physical signs of abuse or neglect, include poor hygiene, malnutrition and bedsores. But if nursing home staff consistently ignores your loved, the signs aren’t always so clear.

For example, a staff member could be purposefully ignoring your relative when it comes to making sure they are engaging in social interactions, are eating their meals and getting help when they ask for it. The staff member could even be keeping your loved one from staying on a regular bathing schedule. Although they shouldn’t, your loved one could already feel a sense of shame because they can no longer properly shower on their own. So rather than making the neglect known, your relative might bathe themselves to the best of their ability instead.

Since your relative is trying to cover up the neglect, you never sensed any lapse in their hygiene routine. If this is the case and if the neglect hasn’t stopped, then your loved one could be facing serious emotional pain.

These are some typical emotional signs of abuse:

  • General fearfulness
  • Disinterest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Sudden shifts in mood
  • Rocking back and forth

Maybe there is an understaffing issue or new leadership is lacking. Whatever the case may be, neglect and refusing to pay attention elderly residents at their home and care facility is not justifiable. If you feel your relative has fallen victim to elder abuse, then an attorney can help your family process and recover from this emotionally taxing situation.