According to a study in Elder Mistreatment: Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation in an Aging America, intimidation in nursing homes is a type of elder abuse.
If a nursing home staff member is intimidating your senior loved one, it might be seriously detrimental to their care and mental health. It can also indicate more severe problems with their and other residents’ wellbeing in the nursing home.
What Qualifies as Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is defined as “the deliberate inflection of injury unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment, which results in physical harm, pain, or mental anguish,” according to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care.
Types of abuse include the following:
- Physical: Any physical harm someone causes to your loved one.Psychological: Any emotional tactics staff uses to manipulate your loved one (intimidation might fall into this category).
- Sexual: A staff member or other resident forces sexual contact with your loved one.
- Financial: When a staff member exploits your loved one’s finances for their own benefit.
If your loved one shows signs that a staff member or other resident is abusing, exploiting, or neglecting them, you should immediately report the abuse to the management, law enforcement, or Adult Protective Services (or all of the above).
For a free legal consultation, call 800-712-9119
How Intimidation in Nursing Homes is Harmful
When a nursing home is understaffed and overworked, which is extremely common in the U.S., staff might feel the need to resort to intimidation tactics to control your loved one.
Intimidation can be extremely harmful to anyone’s mental state, but when a senior resident in a nursing home relies on their abuser for care, it can be even more traumatic. Being intimidated by those who care for you can lead to fear, anxiety, depression, and could lead your loved one into a regressive state.
Some symptoms of being emotionally abused include:
- Problems with sleeping
- Changes in their emotional state
- Regressive states such as rocking back and forth
- Not participating in activities they used to enjoy
- Becomes uninterested in other people or visitors
- Becomes fearful of certain staff members
Intimidation is harmful in and of itself, but it can also indicate other, deeper issues with your loved one’s care. If a staff member uses intimidation tactics against a resident, they might also be physically abusing them, neglecting them, or depriving them.
While emotional abuse is dangerous, elders, who are already frail due to age, can suffer life-threatening injuries from physical abuse. If you believe your loved one is suffering from abuse in their nursing home, get them to safety first and foremost. This might include seeking medical or emotional help or relocating them to a new facility.
Next, you might explore legal action against the nursing home for their negligence and abuse.
What You Can Do
You might be able to recover compensation for your loved one if a nursing home’s abuse or negligence caused them to suffer. Typically, you can pursue financial recovery through a claim with their insurance company or a personal injury lawsuit.
In either case, you do not have to act alone. A nursing home abuse lawyer from Ben Crump Law, PLLC, is here to help you get the justice and compensation you might be entitled to. A lawyer can help you gather evidence, build a case against the nursing home, negotiate with insurance companies and the at-fault party, and, if needed, take your case to court.
You have the option of reaching out to a law firm for help. You can also begin to collect evidence of abuse on your own. Observing the residents’ interactions with staff members at your loved one’s nursing home can tell you a lot. If the residents look fearful or a certain staff member, that might indicate neglect or abuse. If you see a staff member being a little too forceful with a resident, it might not be an isolated incident.
Generally, to prove that a nursing home was negligent in a personal injury case, you have to show:
- The nursing home owed it to your loved one to keep you safe.
- The nursing home did something that put your loved one in danger.
- That danger harmed your loved one.
- You suffered tangible losses because of the nursing home.
If you can prove this, you might be able to recover compensation for your losses related to the incident, including:
- Medical bills from injuries the nursing home caused
- Cost of relocating to another facility
- Pain and suffering your loved one endured
- Wrongful death damages, if the abuse led to your loved one’s death
This is not an exhaustive list of the types of financial awards you might be entitled to from a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer from our firm can evaluate your losses and better understand what you deserve.
Reach out to Ben Crump Law, PLLC today at 800-959-1444 to speak to a team member for a free, no-risk consultation.