Psychological Abuse of the Elderly by Caregivers

According to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), psychological abuse is the “willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, or other types of verbal or nonverbal conduct. Ironically, perpetrators of psychological abuse often are those individuals who are supposed to care for elderly abuse victims, whether they are professional caregivers in a nursing facility, home health care providers, or even family members.

There are multiple signs of potential psychological abuse of an elderly individual. Some symptoms are physical, such as unexplained weight loss or gain, or elevated blood pressure resulting from stress. Psychological abuse victims also may have difficulties sleeping, exhibit depression and/or confusion, show fear in the presence of the abuser, exhibit unusual behaviors, and be emotionally upset or agitated.

Psychological abuse victims tend to be over 75 years of age, and have few friends or relatives to look after them. They are often isolated from much of society, may have memory problems, and may have a long-term disease or medical condition, such as diabetes, hypertension, or paralysis due to stroke. On the other hand, abusive caregivers tend to be highly dependent on the elderly individual in terms of financial needs. Abuse perpetrators often drink alcohol, use drugs, and/or have some type of personality disorder or mental illness. They also may have high levels of stress in their lives and a history of violence in their backgrounds.

As the nursing home industry continues to grow with America’s steadily aging population, the quality of care and staff members continues to become of greater concern. All too often, nursing home staff members do not properly care for their residents, which can lead directly to their injuries resulting from abuse or neglect. At Boller & Vaughan, we focus on protecting the rights of those who have suffered neglectful or abusive actions at the hands of caregivers at nursing home facilities. We have the skills and knowledge to delve into the facts your case, consider all available options, and advocate on your behalf by bringing any legal claims that you may have against the nursing home in question, or its staff members. Contact your Wisconsin nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at (608) 268-0268 and schedule your free consultation today.


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