When it comes to nursing home neglect, not all wounds are physical. When a resident suffers emotional abuse, his or her mental state may deteriorate while in professional care. According to PsychCentral, emotional abuse tends to have the most psychological side effects.
There are signs to look for if you suspect that a loved one has encountered emotional abuse.
Examples of emotional abuse
Emotional abuse takes many forms. Some of the abuse may be verbal, where one person harasses, threatens, intimidates or embarrasses your senior loved one. Emotional abuse may also include when a person talks down to an older adult as if the adult is a child.
In addition, nonverbal abuse may include isolating your loved one, giving him or her the silent treatment or restricting him or her from interacting with others.
Symptoms of emotional abuse
Whenever you visit your loved one, look for signs of emotional abuse. Sometimes, you can notice behavioral changes. The patient might appear more withdrawn, afraid or uncomfortable. You may see symptoms of depression, anxiety or frustration.
This may suddenly stop if your loved one is enthusiastic about life and other interests. He or she may seem more lackluster and indecisive. Keep in mind that some emotional symptoms can also indicate other health conditions.
When it comes to emotional abuse and psychological side effects, the psychological impact can manifest physically. For instance, a person may decline to eat and suffer from severe weight loss and malnutrition. Adults are less likely to engage in physical activities that can help maintain a person’s health. Victims of emotional abuse can also decline medication, adding to the physical problems.