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Common Types of Verbal Abuse in Nursing Homes


When you think of abuse, your mind may instantly go to physical abuse. However, abuse can take other forms besides physical.  Another type of abuse that can cause a significant amount of injury is verbal abuse.

Unfortunately, verbal abuse can occur in nursing homes. Because the effects of verbal abuse aren’t always easily visible, many people fail to recognize when it is occurring. Verbal abuse can occur in multiple ways, and there are definite red flags to look out for if you suspect it might be happening to your loved one in a nursing home.



If someone intentionally humiliates a vulnerable, elderly patient, it is a form of abuse. This humiliation may occur in many ways. In recent cases, social media has been a huge platform for this. Many nursing home employees have been caught sharing demoralizing pictures of their patients online.

However, humiliation can occur in the real world as well as online. A nursing home employee may openly and harshly ridicule the patient. If your loved feels humiliated by a nursing home employee, you should address the issue immediately.

Blaming or Scapegoating


Because many of the patients are both vulnerable and forgetful, it becomes far too easy for the nursing staff to blame the patients for mistakes.

For example, if a nurse fails to exercise necessary caution when she is helping a patient move, it would be easy to say the patient got up without her if the patient is injured. Even if your loved one tends to be forgetful, if you begin to see patterns of your loved one telling you one thing and the staff telling you another, don’t ignore it.

Threats and Intimidation


If your loved one shows any sign of fear towards a particular staff member, please take this seriously. There have been many cases in which the staff has used forceful threats and intimidation in order to force the patient to do what they wanted. Not only is this wrong, but it is considered abuse.

Isolation or Ignoring


Socialization is an extremely important human quality, and to deprive someone of this is abuse. There have been multiple cases where nursing home patients have spent entire days alone in a room with no human contact. Regardless of a patient’s mental or physical health, the need for socialization will never cease, and even if they prefer not to mingle with all of the residents, it is important that the staff takes time to engage with the patients so they are not isolated. This occurs in many cases where the patient does not have any loved ones near, and therefore rarely receives visitors. If you witness this kind of abuse inflicted on your loved one or on any other residents, consider reporting it.

Help from an Indiana Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Nursing home abuse in any form is absolutely deplorable, and the best way to prevent it from happening to others is to address it. Be sure to choose someone who believes that people in nursing homes have just as much a right to respect as anyone else. Call Hensley Legal Group today for a free consultation or contact us online, and let us fight for what your loved one deserves.