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The Danger of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Staff and medical personnel can be responsible for nursing home sexual abuse.

This should be the last thing on your mind. Your loved one is entering a nursing home to get the care that she needs and for her own safety. You shouldn’t have to worry that she will be sexually abused.

Yet each year elderly residents of nursing homes suffer from unwanted sexual conduct. Some residents may be unable to provide consent, some may be unaware that it is happening, and others may be coerced into believing that it is okay.

Sexual abuse is never okay, and nursing home residents have the right to pursue legal action if they have suffered this type of nursing home injury. However, their time for taking action is limited, and it is important for you to help your loved one as soon as possible.

You Can Help Prevent This From Happening to Your Loved One

Not every case of sexual abuse can be prevented. The abusers don’t want to be caught and can make a great effort to cover up their actions. However, you can help prevent the abuse of your loved one by:

  • Talking about the issue. Currently, many people consider the topic of elderly sexual abuse taboo. They don’t want to think about it, much less talk about it. You can help change this culture by talking about it with your loved one and with her caretakers.
     
  • Asking about policies and procedures that are in place at the nursing home. You want to make sure that there are policies and procedures to prevent sexual abuse as well as policies and procedures for when sexual abuse is suspected.

Additionally, you can make sure that your loved one’s doctors are aware of this issue and that your loved one is examined for any symptoms of sexual abuse if any signs of potential abuse are present.

What You Can Do If Your Loved One Is Already Hurt

You can’t prevent every instance of sexual abuse. However, you can help a loved one who has been hurt. You can make sure that your loved one knows her rights and pursues a case to hold the nursing home accountable for the harm that she suffered. To learn more about how to help your loved one, we encourage you to start a live chat with us at any time or to read our FREE report, Guide for Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Victims: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Legal Rights and Get Every Dollar You Deserve.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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