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Types of Emotional Abuse Present in Nursing Homes

The elderly population is increasing in the United States, as life spans are longer than ever. According to the Population Reference Bureau, there were more than 46 million people older than 65 years old in the United States in 2016. By 2020, that figure is estimated to increase to 98 million, which means that segment of our population would jump from 15% of the total population to 24% of the total population.

In future years, the Population Reference Bureau predicts a significant increase in the level of nursing home care needed to serve our elderly population. In 2010, approximately 1.3 million people over the age of 65 required nursing home care. By 2030, that number could increase to 2.3 million. Care for elderly people with Alzheimer’s is also expected to increase. In 2013, 5 million elderly Americans were living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, there will be an estimated 14 million people with that condition.

With the number of people needing nursing home or long-term care expected to increase, nursing home admission statistics are bound to follow. A problem in nursing homes now is when staff members, including aides, nurses, and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), subject residents to different forms of abuse. One of the biggest ways of mistreating a resident is by committing emotional abuse. Emotional and psychological abuse take place when one acts in a manner that causes emotional pain and distress, and it can include verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment, or intimidation, per the National Council on Aging.

Below are common forms of emotional abuse:

  • Public humiliation of a resident
  • Intimidation
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Making threats
  • Screaming at and degrading a resident
  • Restricting access to food
  • Demeaning a resident
  • Name calling

If you suspect nursing home abuse, you should first report it to the authorities. In Tennessee, Adult Protective Services can be reached by calling 1-888-277-8366. Nursing homes and long term care facilities are trusted with looking after our loved ones and providing, at a minimum, basic standards of care. If abuse is documented, federal regulators can get involved, and the facility could lose valuable funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). Elderly residents victimized by emotional abuse may pursue legal claims against those responsible, including the individual offenders and nursing home itself. At Nahon, Saharovich & Trotz, our nursing home abuse lawyers have fought for injured victims for more than 25 years. For a free and confidential consultation with a personal injury attorney, call 800-529-4004 or complete our online form.