As our elders begin to need daily assistance, many of us start to research nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We all want our older family members to receive proper care but we also want them to feel happy and fulfilled. You probably already know how physical elder abuse can injure or even kill older California residents, but psychological or emotional abuse also causes serious damage to these vulnerable members of society.
Cruelty and emotional abuse leave no physical scars to alert us to any danger our elders may be facing. Since older people typically want to minimize the worry their families feel, they may not report the abusive behaviors. These two factors can make it difficult to spot psychological abuse. Therefore, we must look deeper so that we can distinguish normal aging behaviors from signs of harmful emotional trauma. These signs include the following.
- Sudden or unexplained fearfulness
- Reduced participation in enjoyable activities
- Loss of interest in one’s self
- Difficulty making eye contact, especially with a care provider
- Unexplained confusion or paranoia
- Withdrawal, resignation and other unusual reactions to the environment
Unfortunately, the elder care industry is a prime environment for cruelty, neglect and other forms of elder abuse. To help your older loved one feel content and continue enjoying life, watch carefully for signs of abuse. Ask questions, listen closely to the answers you receive and do not be afraid to take action against abusive care facilities.
If you do suspect emotional, financial or physical elder abuse, seek legal assistance immediately to find out for sure. You can learn how an elder law attorney can help in these situations by continuing to review the information on our website.