When you put your elderly parent in a nursing home, you trust that the staff members will provide quality care. However, sometimes a senior may experience emotional abuse from the new caregivers.
Help Guide says that emotional abuse can take many forms. Caregivers may humiliate or ridicule a senior in front of others. They may yell or threaten to harm your parent. Sometimes, caregivers may prevent your parent from participating in activities or socializing with friends in the nursing home. Additionally, they may ignore your parent when he or she needs help.
How do you know if a senior experiences abuse?
Sometimes, your parent’s behavior may indicate that something is wrong. When you visit your parent, you may notice that he or she rocks back and forth. Seniors who experience emotional abuse may also talk to themselves.
Observing the caregivers can also demonstrate whether your parent is being emotionally abused. Do the caregivers seem controlling? Do they belittle your parent or other seniors in the nursing home? Have you heard them make threats? These behaviors from your parent and from the caregivers indicate that there may be emotional abuse going on.
How should you handle emotional abuse?
The National Institute on Aging says that you should take action as soon as you suspect that your elderly parent is experiencing emotional abuse. You should speak to your parent privately and explain your concerns. Sometimes, seniors may be reluctant to discuss the situation because they worry that the nursing home staff will treat them worse if they learn about your concerns. When this happens, you should usually report the situation to a protective services organization. This organization can conduct an investigation to determine the full extent of the situation.
If you think that your elderly parent may be a victim of emotional abuse, you may want to consider finding a new nursing home.