New Mexican residents like you trust the facilities you leave your parents or grandparents in to treat them with dignity, kindness and respect. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. There may even be some situations in which there are abusive members of staff present, so knowing how to spot signs of invisible abuse can be important.
Physical abuse often leaves marks that can be spotted with time. However, according to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide, psychological abuse can be harder to pinpoint. Psychological abuse can come in many forms, but usually fall into categories of humiliation, intimidation, or degradation. Examples include:
- Shouting or yelling
- Use of intimidation tactics
- Making threats
Psychological abuse can be non-verbal as well. Examples include secluding the victim from others, ignoring them or giving them the "silent treatment", threatening to withhold necessities like food, water or medication, or preventing their participation in group activities.
Signs of psychological abuse usually manifest in behavioral or emotional changes that can be hard to spot. This includes the victim withdrawing or becoming depressed, displaying nervousness or fear, or becoming aggressive and agitated. Refusing to interact with or speak to other people can be a warning sign. Sudden changes in behavior, such as an outgoing person becoming more "shy" can also be a signal. Victims may even begin to display physical nervous tics, such as rocking or biting.
Any of these signs could potentially point to abuse. Though that may not be the case, it is best to investigate any suspicions thoroughly rather than letting them sit.