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Emotional Abuse Found in Nursing Homes in Phoenix

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on December 6, 2016

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office launched the Taskforce against Senior Abuse (TASA) in efforts to heighten awareness and enforcement of many types of abuse directed toward seniors, one of which is emotional abuse. Their Elder Abuse Information and Training Guide defines it as follows:

Psychological or Emotional Abuse: infliction of mental pain, anguish, or distress through verbal or nonverbal acts such as name calling, insulting, ignoring, threatening, isolating, demeaning and controlling behavior.”

Identifying the Warning Signs

By nature, emotionally-based types of abuse may not be as overtly obvious, when compared to incidents such as physical abuse.

  • The resident seems fearful in the presence of a caretaker.
  • They avoid making eye contact with the abuser.
  • A more than normal effort seems to be exerted toward appeasing or pleasing the abuser.
  • Attempting to self-medicate with alcohol or prescription medications to combat depression.
  • The resident expresses a new lowered level of self-esteem, or decreased opinion of self-worth.

Residents Most Susceptible to Emotional Abuse

Typically the emotional abuser is going to target those who may be less likely to counter or report the abusive activity, such as those including:

  • Likely among the older residents, 75 years of age or older. Are more likely to be female.
  • Those with mental deficiencies, often those who are not cognizant of emotional abuse.
  • Residents who are among the most highly dependent on staff for daily function.
  • Likely to be those residents with infrequent visits or presence of familial support.
  • Those whose communication skills have greatly diminished.

Incidents of Abuse on Social Media

In a disturbing article reported by Fox15 Arizona in August of 2016, the California Department of Health, in conjunction with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department are investigating incidents of elder abuse in a local nursing house. Several nursing assistants at a Vista, CA nursing home were involved in taking photos of partially nude nursing home residents and posting them to social media sites. The California CNA Board has revoked the certification of one aide and suspended the certification of another. One of those involved has been charged with elder abuse and invasion of privacy. Though this incident occurred in California, incidents like this can happen anywhere, and senior residents in Arizona are certainly at risk.

Although it may seem hard to imagine that those who are assigned to provide care for elderly nursing home residents would choose to emotionally abuse them. At the Breyer Law Offices, P.C. we stand firm in our representation of those who have been victimized by all kinds of Phoenix nursing home-based abuse. To review your case and begin the process of obtaining compensation, make the call to (602) 457-6222 today.

Posted in: Nursing Home Abuse

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