Sexual abuse is a real problem in society, and nursing homes are not immune. Unfortunately, many people living in nursing homes are the victims of abuse by employees and other residents, sometimes resulting in injuries.
Sexual abuse of nursing home residents may include intercourse or rape, but it may also encompass kissing, inappropriate touching, battery, nude photography, and forced nudity. This list is by no means exhaustive.
Ultimately, nursing home sexual abuse is often overlooked and not talked about. Read on to learn more about the crisis of sexual abuse in nursing homes and what you can do if you have a loved one who may be experiencing abuse.
Who Is at Risk for Nursing Home Sexual Abuse?
Any resident at a nursing home may be at risk for sexual abuse, but an abuser may choose some victims that appear to be easy targets. These include residents with memory issues or who are incapacitated.
Women are more often the victims of nursing home sexual abuse than men. Additionally, older women are at higher risk for abuse than younger women are. Physical disability and social isolation also put nursing home residents at risk.
Why Does Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Go Overlooked?
One of the biggest reasons why sexual abuse is often overlooked in nursing homes is because so many of the patients there are living with memory issues. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease can prevent an individual from remembering the events.
Additionally, many of the victims are isolated from their family members. They may not feel that they have anybody they can talk to about the problems.
Some victims struggle with communication issues. They may be unable to talk or hear. Additionally, individuals with visual impairments may not be able to describe the individual who is harming them.
When victims are able to communicate that they have been abused, they are often afraid to tell anybody. They may fear retaliation by the person who has abused them.
Sometimes, elderly victims of sexual abuse are not believed. Family members or personnel may believe that the victim is confused or lying.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse?
Many signs may indicate sexual abuse in a nursing home situation. This list does not include every sign but rather some of the most prominent ones.
Pelvic injury is one of the most obvious signs of sexual abuse in seniors, but in some cases, the physical result of sexual abuse is a sexually transmitted disease. These conditions could make it more difficult for your loved one to sit or walk. You may also see signs of bruising on your loved one's legs, especially near the upper thighs.
Some of the symptoms of sexual abuse are associated with the social aspects of life. For instance, you may notice that your loved one is withdrawing from their friends and family members. They may also seem more agitated than usual.
Emotionally, many victims of sexual abuse may begin to exhibit the signs of anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder.
How Can You Fight Back Against Nursing Home Sexual Abuse?
In many cases, nursing homes are aware of abuse going on and choose to ignore it. This behavior is a form of negligence, and nursing homes may be held accountable for it.
Sexual abuse in a nursing home situation is often combined with physical, emotional, or financial abuse. You should also look for signs of these forms of abuse when you talk to your attorney.
The Law Offices of Janice Maloney focus on providing high quality legal assistance. If you believe that your loved one has abused in a nursing home, you may have a legal case. Call today to talk with a lawyer about your case.