If you have noticed your loved one has become withdrawn since moving into a nursing home and suspect emotional abuse, it is time to talk to Harvey & Foote Law Firm.
When you think about nursing home abuse, you are probably picturing scenarios where a resident is physically assaulted or sexually abused. While these are pervasive forms of abuse that regularly occur in long-term care facilities throughout New Mexico, there is another type of abuse that does not involve any form of physical contact. Emotional abuse occurs when a nursing home staff member or caregiver inflicts emotional harm through intentional or unintentional actions. Though emotional abuse is not accompanied by physical violence, its consequences are quite real: Victims of emotional abuse in nursing homes frequently suffer from significant mental health problems that may even trigger physical health issues.
We have handled thousands of cases and understand how to hold responsible parties accountable for mistreatment. Our Albuquerque nursing home emotional abuse lawyers are committed to protecting the interests of victims and their families. That includes trying cases all the way and seeking maximum compensation for damages. Our compassionate team understands what you are going through and is prepared to provide the responsive, results-oriented legal support you deserve.
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What Does Emotional Abuse Look Like in New Mexico Nursing Homes?
No matter their age or condition, residents of nursing homes have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Emotional abuse occurs when nursing home staff, other residents or other parties with access to a facility violate this right. Keep in mind that emotional abuse may not necessarily be intentional, but it is still abuse, even if someone’s harmful actions are not deliberate.
Examples of emotional abuse common in nursing homes include:
- Yelling at a resident
- Threatening or intimidating a resident
- Ridiculing, humiliating, or infantilizing a resident
- Blaming a resident for things that are not their fault
- Gaslighting a resident
- Isolating a resident from others
- Preventing a resident from contacting family members, friends, legal representatives, doctors, or other resources
- Preventing a resident from going outside or participating in activities
- Cutting off a resident’s access to the Internet, television, or other electronic devices
- Threatening to withhold food, water, or medication
- Taking away or hiding a resident’s belongings, including health aids
- Refusing to speak to a resident when in their presence (the “silent treatment”)
- Ignoring the resident’s requests for assistance
Signs of Emotional Abuse in New Mexico Nursing Homes
The trouble with detecting emotional abuse is that the mistreatment seldom leaves behind physical evidence. Most red flags will manifest as behavioral changes in the victim. A well-trained nursing home staff member or another medical professional may be able to recognize these shifts and raise the alarm, but, unfortunately, the people responsible for your loved one’s care are often undertrained and overworked. It will in all likelihood fall to you to look out for the warning signs of emotional abuse and take action when something appears to be wrong.
Warning signs of emotional abuse in nursing homes include:
- Abrupt and unexplained personality changes, including mood swings
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
- Withdrawal from activities someone previously enjoyed
- Excessive fearfulness
- Sudden spikes of depression, including suicidal ideation
What Should I Do If I Think My Loved One Is Being Emotionally Abused in a Nursing Home?
Our Albuquerque nursing home emotional abuse attorneys can walk you through the steps you should take if you suspect your loved one is being mistreated by anyone at their long-term care facility. We can help you report suspected abuse to the appropriate parties and remove your loved one from the facility as quickly as possible. Then, our team at the Harvey & Foote Law Firm can investigate your case, determine liability, and explore your legal options. Depending on whose negligence resulted in your loved one being emotionally abused, you may be able to take legal action against the nursing home, individual staff members, medical professionals, and other residents.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Nursing Home Emotional Abuse Lawsuit?
Filing a lawsuit for nursing home emotional abuse is about more than holding responsible parties accountable. You can also secure compensation for economic and non-economic damages. These lawsuits can sometimes be resolved through out-of-court settlements, but we are prepared to take your case to trial if the liable party refuses to negotiate a fair resolution.
Our Albuquerque nursing home emotional abuse lawyers will work to get your family full and fair compensation for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
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