Verbal Abuse

Verbal abuse is a form of improper behavior involving the use of language.  It is a form of profanity and can occur with or without the use of expletives.  Oral communication is the most common form of verbal abuse, however, it can include abusive words in written form. Examples of verbal abuse include:

  • Words/phrases/actions in order to reject a resident or make the resident feel unimportant
  • Making unkind comments/saying unkind words about a resident’s clothes, appearance, race, religion, or ethnicity

When a resident or patient of a nursing home, residential care facility for the elderly or skilled nursing facility is subjected to verbal abuse, their behavior and demeanor can change. Possible indications that a resident or patient has been subjected to verbal abuse include:

  • Agitation
  • Anger
  • Defensiveness
  • Denial
  • Non responsiveness
  • Hesitation to talk openly
  • Anxiety
  • Implausible stories
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Fear
  • Withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Helplessness

Residents of care facilities have a right to be free from verbal abuse. It is a matter of basic human dignity that residents of care facilities are spoken to with respect by medical professionals and staff members of nursing home and other types of care facilities. When this basic human right is violated, there may be legal recourse a resident in a care facility can take against the facility. The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP have a complete understanding not only of the laws governing verbal abuse, but of all laws and regulations involved in litigating cases involving nursing home and elder care facilities. If a care facility has verbally abused you or a loved one, our attorneys can advise you about your rights under California law. Contact an attorney at Berman & Riedel, LLP to discuss your legal options.