You are always on the lookout for neglect and abuse after you put your loved one in a nursing home. You watch their bank accounts, worried about financial abuse. You look for any unexplained injuries that may mean they are being physically abused.
What about mental or emotional abuse? You know it happens, but the signs are not as clear. What should you look for? How will your loved one feel and act if this happens to them?
It depends somewhat on the specifics of the case and the individual victim, but many victims of emotional abuse feel shame. They may think that it is their own fault and may even become convinced by their abuser that they deserve it. They may not recognize it as abuse at all if they think the things they’re being told are true.
Your loved one may also become fearful and nervous. Threats are a big part of emotional abuse. In many cases, the abuser may never carry through with those threats, but they can still make a vulnerable person feel insecure and frightened all the time.
Whenever you see a significant change in the way someone acts, it’s a red flag. Maybe they were always outgoing and they become withdrawn. Maybe they were always happy and they become depressed. Maybe they smiled a lot before, but they stop smiling and start watching everyone very carefully. These are all potential red flags that may mean you need to look a bit deeper to see if anything is occurring.
If you do find that your loved one is being abused or neglected in any way, you then need to look into your legal options to protect them and hold those responsible accountable.