Nursing home residents rely on their caretakers to provide a comfortable, safe, and compassionate place to call home. It is not unusual for residents to experience feelings of helplessness and isolation, and it is the duty of nursing homes to help their residents live a fulfilling and meaningful life.
Unfortunately, studies show that nursing home residents experience depression at astronomical rates that are well above the average for seniors living in other environments. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that nursing home residents suffer from depression at more than twice the rate (49 percent) of elderly individuals under hospice care (22 percent) and in residential care communities (22 percent). In many cases, this depression is the direct result of emotional and verbal abuse – including belittling.
Sadly, depression is just one of the many consequences suffered by victims of belittling in nursing homes. No one deserves to be belittled, and if your loved one is experiencing this wrongful treatment in a nursing home, they deserve better. At Malman Law, we fight on behalf of nursing home residents in Chicago and throughout Illinois who need help standing up for their legal rights.
Warning Signs of Emotional and Verbal Abuse in Nursing Homes
It can be difficult to know for certain that your loved one is being belittled unless you catch a staff member in the act. However, there are several signs which – along with the symptoms discussed below – can point to emotional or verbal abuse and give you sufficient grounds to file a claim against a nursing home. Conditions that are often indicative of abusive and substandard care include:
- Loud environments with yelling, roughhousing among staff members, and disorderly residents
- Rumors among patients and family members about abusive treatment at the home
- Specific complaints from other residents or family members
- Staff members humiliating residents or other employees with jokes or pranks
- Rundown facilities that are not being maintained or are in need of repair
Each of these may be indicative of a broader issue – a culture of resident mistreatment and a living environment unfitting for anyone, much less an elderly, paying customer in need of help. In these situations, it has been shown that residents often experience belittling either in the form of outright verbal abuse or demeaning, inadequate, and inappropriate care.
Symptoms of Emotional and Verbal Abuse
Belittling often leads to a number of symptoms consistent with those caused by other forms of emotional and verbal abuse. These symptoms include:
- Changes in attitude or behavior
- Loss of appetite
- Stress and anxiety
- Unusual reticence
It is important to note that nursing home residents who have experienced belittling may not be forthcoming about the abuse. This can be the case for a variety of different reasons. For example, nursing home staff members have been known to threaten residents with loss of family visiting privileges, time outdoors, and opportunities to socialize if they report the abuse. In extreme cases, abusers may even resort to drugging their victims in order to keep them quiet. As a result, it is important to be vigilant, ask lots of questions, and seek immediate help if you suspect your loved one is being abused.
About Malman Law
Malman Law is a Chicago, IL law firm that represents victims of nursing home negligence and abuse throughout Illinois. Our attorneys have decades of experience providing thorough, knowledgeable, and compassionate representation for nursing home residents and their families. We also have a nurse on staff who has more than 30 years of experience working in various nursing homes throughout the Chicagoland area.
Over the lasts 21 years, we have helped our clients recover millions of dollars in compensation for negligent and abusive treatment. If your elderly loved one is a victim of belittling, we can make sure that your family receives the care and compensation it deserves.
Speak with a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer at Malman Law Today
All of the attorneys at Malman Law are passionate about helping victims of nursing home abuse. We are committed to helping victims find better lives and obtain just compensation for their injuries and losses. If you believe you or a loved one may be experiencing belittling in a nursing home, we urge you to contact us for a free, confidential consultation. You can call us at (888) 751-2297 to speak with someone 24/7, or fill out our online form and someone will contact you within 24 hours.