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What does emotional elder abuse look like?

When your loved one is struggling to thrive in a nursing home, you may start to worry about signs of possible emotional abuse from caretakers.

Elder emotional abuse can come in many forms, but most symptoms are noticeable if you know what to look for.

Speaking inappropriately

According to the National Institute on Aging, someone blaming an older person for problems he or she did not cause may mean there is emotional abuse occurring. Making fun of or ridiculing your loved one, as well as intimidating him or her, all constitute inappropriate actions towards an elderly person.

Berating or yelling at an older person who cannot hear or reply is another sign of abuse. If a caregiver frequently speaks in an inappropriate way, make sure to take note of what happens for future legal reference.

Ignoring your loved one’s needs

When an older person is dependent on a caregiver, that caregiver must make sure to meet his or her needs regularly. If you notice odd or withdrawn behavior from your loved one, it may mean his or her social needs are not met.

Being repeatedly ignored is a problem for isolated older people, and can lead to severe mental distress if it continues for a long period of time.

Preventing visits

A caregiver continually blocking you or your family from visiting your loved one is another kind of emotional abuse. This may start off slow and build to a worse and more obvious problem over time. Knowing the signs of emotional abuse is important for the health and safety of your elderly loved one.