Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

One of the most devastating types of abuse of nursing home residents is sexual abuse. Most people assume that sexual abuse is rare in nursing homes, but the reality it is very common.

Elderly nursing home residents who are confused or unable to give their consent due to their mental or physical condition are most vulnerable. Sexual abuse can include the following:

• Any unwanted touching, not just to the genital areas
• Sexual assault or battery
• Rape
• Sodomy
• Sexually-explicit photography of the resident
• Sexual harassment of the nursing home resident

These nursing home residents are most at risk:

• Women
• Older residents
• Patients who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of mental impairment
• Residents who are socially isolated from their families, friends, and others
• Patients who have a disability, including those that make it difficult for them to communicate

Perpetrators of sexual abuse of nursing home residents often target those who cannot communicate well, are confused, or fear retaliation. The following are common perpetrators who abuse residents:

1.) Staff members - While some nursing home staff members are caring individuals, others are not, or worse, are attracted to the job because of the vulnerable victims they can sexually abuse. In addition, staff members have opportunities to abuse elderly residents who may need help in the restroom & with diaper change, while bathing, and getting dressed. When nursing homes fail to properly screen staff members or take immediate steps to stop inappropriate behavior, they can be liable for compensating the victim of the sexual abuse. Also, many nursing homes allow male nurses or CNAs do intimate procedures on women which is exactly why we have seen a big increase in nursing home sexual abuse cases over the past decade.

Ironically, most women’s prisons in the United States have policies that prohibit male security guards from stripping female inmates—even if they are suspected of hiding drugs—or watch them showering.

Nursing homes need to realize these concerns as well and enact similar policies by prohibiting male nurses and nursing assistants from doing intimate care of female patients to protect their dignity and safety.

Check out this important article, How Nursing Homes Can Respect Residents’ Dignity and Prevent Sexual Abuse.

Check out a short list of some male CNAs who sexually abused female nursing home residents according to news sources. The truth is most sexual abuse cases in nursing homes are never reported because residents with dementia are often not believed. Most nursing home personnel get away with sexual abuse of residents since they often abuse the residents who have dementia who might not be able to speak up. For example, look at this case of a young male CNA with no criminal background, Jacob Schlosser. Jacob admitted that he did not think the resident who he abused while helping to bathe her would remember what happened because she had Alzheimer’s.

The truth is that any time a male medical staff member does intimate care on a female nursing home resident without her consent or against the wishes of a family member of the resident who has expressed that no males do intimate care on her is a form of sexual abuse.

2.) Other residents. Nursing home residents can abuse weaker residents intentionally or due to their own mental disabilities and confusion. Nursing home staff should be trained to watch for and stop this sexual abuse. When they do not do this, the nursing home may be responsible.

3.) Third parties. Many third parties, such as vendors, salespersons, medical providers, visitors for other family members, and more can come to the nursing home. When a nursing home fails to protect residents from abuse or leaves the resident in an unsafe area where she is vulnerable to being attacked, the nursing home is liable.

Here are some signs of sexual abuse of a nursing home resident:

• Developing unexplained sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and infections
• Having bruises in the genital area, thighs, or breasts
• Bleeding in the vaginal area
• Having clothes that are torn or have unusual stains or blood on them
• Exhibiting more difficulty sitting and walking
• Becoming depressed or withdrawn
• Exhibiting fear or anxiety around certain staff members or residents
• Becoming agitated or experiencing unusual mood swings

If you suspect a loved one is being sexually assaulted, you should take steps immediately to stop the abuse. You should discuss this with your family member and then contact the nursing home administration, police, and an experienced nursing home abuse attorney right away



©Copyright 2020 All Rights Reserved.

Web Site Designed By: Bright Idea Web Solutions