Elder abuse takes place in many different forms. Emotional elder abuse is perhaps the hardest to recognize because their are not any obvious signs of abuse. This type of abuse is considered the most common. It is also referred to as psychological elder abuse.

Emotional elder abuse is any verbal or non-verbal act that causes pain, distress or anguish to an older adult. The abuse can happen in the elder adults home and by family members and friends. It can also happen in a nursing home or assisted living facility. 

The effects of emotional abuse can be seen in many different forms such as fear, sadness, and nervousness to name a few. 

Golden Heart Southern Utah emotional_elder_sbuseVerbal

Verbal abuse can be easy to spot when you are present as it happens. It can happen in the form of verbal harassment, yelling, and manipulation. This can happen when the caregiver is under stress or suffering from depression or some other personal problem. If this kind of behavior is coming from a caregiver in a nursing home or other institutional setting, it must be reported immediately. Some examples of verbal abuse are:

  • Intimidation
  • Demeaning behavior towards the elderly person
  • Name calling
  • Threatening behavior
  • Yelling or shouting
  • Making the elder feel guilty


Non-verbal abuse is usually harder to spot but it is just as serious as verbal abuse. Non-verbal abuse can take longer to affect the elderly but with time and repetition this sort of abuse can have devastating long term effects. Examples of non-verbal abuse are:

  • Ignoring the elderly
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Hiding personal items such as glasses, dentures and medication
  • Restricting access to food, drink, bathroom, telephone etc.
  • Pretending to cause physical harm

Adult protective service laws are in place in every state. Statutes vary from state to state. There is a system for reporting and investigation for elder abuse and help is available for the victims. For the state of Utah please visit the following link https://daas.utah.gov/adult-protective-services/

Emotional Elder Abuse Prevention

Ways to prevent emotional elder abuse include:

  • Avoid isolation
  • Stay in touch with your elderly loved one
  • Keep them active
  • Don’t allow your elderly loved one to live with anyone who is known to be abusive or violent
  • Encourage them to attend church or social activities

How Golden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah can help: We are here to assist and protect our clients in every way possible, and we take elder abuse very seriously. Any caregiver who enters your home goes through our process of background checks, drug testing, interviews, and references. We are also licensed and bonded. Please refer to our  Elder Absue Prevention page and our Senior Advocacy page for more information. If you would like Golden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah to advocate for you and your loved one, please call us at (435) 669-3704.

Resources For Reporting Elder Abuse


The Golden Heart Promise: We will provide excellent care to our valued Clients, advocate for their rights, and personify the compassion of a Golden HeartGolden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah, St. George, Cedar City would be happy to assist you or your loved one with in-home care. Please contact us today for more information on how we can help.  You’re in Caring Hands With Golden Heart Senior Care Southern Utah.


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