Nursing Home Sexual Abuse: The Ugly Truth
It’s shocking to think that many types of abuse occurs inside the walls at nursing home facilities such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse. Although the most common forms of nursing home abuse are poor medical care and neglect of residents, sexual abuse is the most disgusting.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 44 percent of residents say they have been abused at nursing homes. Out of those reports, seven percent claim they have been sexually abused in nursing homes. Although it is the least reported type of nursing home abuse claim, preying on vulnerable elderly patients is the most horrific.
What Is Considered Sexual Abuse of Nursing Home Residents?
Although most people assume a sexual abuse claim often involves rape, this isn’t the case. While sexual abuse is rape and unconsented sex, it can also be any type of non-consensual sexual act forced on a victim, such as fondling, groping, kissing, or forcing a person to perform a sexual act, witness a sexual behavior, or view pornography.
Why Residents May Suffer from Ongoing Abuse
Unfortunately, sexual abuse of a nursing home resident isn’t always apparent. Sometimes victims suffer in silence for days, weeks, or months before someone comes forward and reports his or her suspicion to the nursing home. For example, a resident might report that someone else was in another resident’s bed, or a nurse could see someone that didn’t seem right leaving a resident’s room. When others make these reports, an investigation is typically launched and victims may be saved from ongoing abuse.
The reason why residents who suffer from sexual abuse often don’t report such behaviors is because they often don’t remember it or they have a hard time speaking. This is because victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes are often dementia patients, Alzheimer’s patients, or those with other medical conditions. As a result, they often cannot remember what happened or be able to properly communicate about the abuse.
Liability in Sexual Abuse Cases
Even if the nursing home launches an investigation and stops the abuse from happening again, the facility may still be responsible for the abuse occurring in the first place. Even if one of their own staff members wasn’t involved, the facility could still be found liable for the abuse due to improper supervision and lack of security.
All nursing homes should be able to provide a safe place for their residents. When they fail to protect their residents from harm, they can be held accountable for damages. If you or your loved one was sexually abused at a nursing home in Florida, you need to seek the advice of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer. Contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 for a free consultation today.