Psychological abuse of elders may also be called emotional elder abuse. The terms are often interchangeable and denote the intentional infliction of mental and/or emotional anguish. Psychological abuse may come in the forms of threats, humiliation and even nonverbal conduct by caregivers.
Unfortunately far too many elders in nursing homes in California become victims of psychological abuse at the hands of those charged to care for them. Thankfully, in order to combat this epidemic, organizations such as the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA) work tirelessly to prevent of abuse and neglect of older persons and adults with disabilities.
The NCPEA is an association of researchers, practitioners, educators, and advocates dedicated to protecting the safety, security, and dignity of America’s most vulnerable citizens. It was established in 1988 to achieve a clearer understanding of abuse and provide direction and leadership to prevent it. The Committee is one of three partners that make up the National Center on Elder Abuse, designed to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on information and materials on abuse and neglect.
According to the NCPEA, perpetrators of psychological abuse of elders include family members, caregivers and even acquaintances. Signs or symptoms that a loved elder may be a victim of psychological abuse include notable weight loss or gain, with no reasonable explanation. The onset of stress related conditions such as high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, and depression may also occur. Other symptoms may include the elder’s noticeable fear of the perpetrator, or they may appear withdrawn, anxious or fearful.
Elders at greatest risk for psychological abuse are those who are particularly isolated, according to NCPEA. Those lacking social and emotional support may also be less likely to report the abuse.
If you believe that an elder you love is being psychologically abused while in a California nursing home, contact an experienced California elder abuse attorney today.
Christopher C. Walton is an elder abuse attorney whose practice is dedicated to issues involving elder abuse & neglect. If you believe you or somebody you know has been subjected to abuse while as a resident of a nursing home, contact (866) 338-7079 for a free and confidential consultation.