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What is the Difference Between Physical and Psychological Abuse in an Orange County Nursing Home?

Risks of nursing home abuse and neglect in Orange County are often considered in connection with physical elder abuse. In other words, when seniors themselves or their family members are investigating histories of abuse at the facility or worrying about the possibility of injuries due to elder abuse, they are often thinking about physical abuse. Yet nursing home abuse and neglect can take many different forms, and it is essential to have a basic understanding of the signs and symptoms of each type of abuse that may occur in a skilled nursing facility. Today, our experienced Orange County nursing home abuse attorneys want to discuss the differences between physical abuse and psychological abuse in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Southern California. 

What is Physical Abuse in a Nursing Home?

Physical abuse in a nursing home or assisted-living facility can take many different forms, but it is often recognizable due to visible signs and symptoms of the abuse. For example, if a staff member at a facility strikes or physically assaults a nursing home resident, that resident may have visible bruises, cuts, or other related wounds. Likewise, if a staff member at a nursing home uses physical restraints on a patient unnecessarily, that nursing home patient may have visible signs of physical restraints, such as abrasions around the arms or legs. 

What is Psychological Abuse in a Nursing Home?

Psychological abuse is also common in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Orange County, unfortunately, but the signs and symptoms can be more difficult to identify. As such, family members with loved ones who are suffering from psychological or mental abuse may not immediately take action to stop the abuse and to hold the wrongdoer accountable since they may not realize that the abuse is occurring. Common examples of psychological abuse in nursing homes may include but are not limited to:

  • Verbal abuse, such as insulting the senior or verbally harassing the elderly nursing home resident;
  • Humiliation, such as by taking photographs of the senior in a compromising situation;
  • Intentionally isolating a senior from others at the facility; or
  • Threatening the senior with physical violence.

Since these forms of abuse do not produce obvious physical wounds, they can be more difficult to spot. According to Aging Well, the following are common signs or symptoms of psychological abuse in a skilled nursing facility:

  • Senior becoming passive or withdrawn;
  • Senior displaying signs of depression (or increased depression);
  • Senior being reluctant to talk about a particular staff member or to address abuse concerns from a family member or friend;
  • Senior appearing to fear a particular staff member or asking to avoid a particular staff member; or
  • Senior showing signs of fear or anxiety.

In short, any indications that something is wrong should be a reason to seek help and to initiate an investigation into psychological abuse that may be happening.

Contact an Orange County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Do you have questions or concerns about psychological abuse or other forms of nursing home abuse? One of our experienced Orange County nursing home neglect lawyers can evaluate your case for you today and can discuss your options for filing a claim. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information.

 

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