Gaslighting is a hidden risk to elderly nursing home residents

The physical abuse of elderly people gets a lot of attention, and rightly so, in the media. However, abuse can take many forms, each as harmful as the next.

Psychological abuse, in general, is a huge risk to those residing in a nursing home. However, gaslighting can make elderly people question their very sanity.

What is gaslighting?

The abuser uses psychological manipulation to make victims doubt themselves and their version of reality. Gaslighting usually takes a long time (months or years), making these acts particularly abusive.

Below are four examples of gaslighting to help you understand the phenomenon better. A gaslighter:

  1. Tells others they doubt the victim’s state of mind
  2. Insists the victim did or said things they cannot confirm
  3. Calls the victim crazy (or disturbed, unhinged or demented)
  4. Denies the victim’s memory of events, activities or conversations

Those who gaslight are often mentally unstable in some way and are attracted to work that gives them control over others. As you might imagine, nursing home jobs attract these abusers.

How does it harm victims?

Nursing home patients constantly exposed to long-term gaslighting can suffer many harmful effects, including:

  • Loss of identity and self-esteem
  • Exaggerated fear of possible danger
  • Chronic stress, anxiety and depression

To cause doubt about reality sounds like a form of psychological torture to most people. If any nursing home negligence or abuse harmed your loved one, you need to learn more about your legal options in Georgia. You might have grounds to obtain financial restitution for the physical and/or emotional injuries that were inflicted on your loved one.