For most families, it can be very difficult to place their loved one in
a nursing home, but at the same time, they often don’t have a choice.
If your loved one is in a nursing home, surely the facility promised you
that your loved one would be in the “best hands” and they
would receive the highest quality care, but are these statements true?
If we’ve learned anything from the elder abuse statistics, it’s
that nursing home abuse is “grossly underreported.” As far
as the risks of elder abuse, the
National Center on Elder Abuse, “Functional impairment and poor physical health are associated
with greater risk of abuse among older persons. Additionally, “Women
appear to be more likely to be abused than men.”
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms, including
sexual, and psychological. Psychological abuse, for example, can involve social
isolation, verbal abuse, and maltreatment that leads to loss of dignity
What Does It Mean to Lose Dignity?
When it comes to people, dignity plays a powerful role in happiness, confidence,
and well-being. Just because a senior is moved into a nursing home, that
does not mean that caregivers should fail to respect their privacy and
dignity, both of which have an extraordinary impact on people’s
lives, regardless of age.
While dignity and respect go hand-in-hand, they are not the same thing.
Dignity refers to our worth as human beings, and to our “inherent
value,” whereas respect is something that is earned. Elderly residents
have every right to feel heard, understood, and respected. If caregivers
violate a resident’s privacy or force them into socially awkward
situations, the resident can lose their independence, and all feelings
of security can disappear.
How can a resident lose their dignity?
- Caregivers enter the resident’s room without knocking.
- Caregivers use foul language against the resident.
- Caregivers intentionally embarrass the elderly resident.
- Caregivers take pictures of the resident in various stages of undress.
- Caregivers force the resident to remove his or her clothing to laugh at
the resident, take pictures, record a video, or to humiliate the resident.
- Caregivers open the resident’s personal mail against their wishes.
- Caregivers refuse to let the resident receive visitors in private.
- Caregivers don’t let the resident make or receive phone calls in private.
- Caregivers don’t let the resident socialize with fellow residents.
Even parking a resident’s wheelchair so it’s facing a corner
while everyone else in the room is happily playing board games is considered
humiliating, and can lead to embarrassment, loss of dignity, and humiliation.
If your loved one is being mistreated by their caregivers, it could fall
under the category of “psychological abuse,” and it should
If you suspect your loved one is suffering emotionally due to a
lack of dignity and respect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, we urge you to
contact Norman Taylor & Associates, APLC for help. Call now for a