Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing homes were designed with the intention of providing elderly residents with the necessary day-to-day care that they can no longer provide for themselves. When a family makes the difficult decision to place a loved one under the care of a nursing home facility, however, most do not worry about the level of care that they will actually receive. Sadly, the number of reported incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect is on the rise, including instances of sexual abuse among the elderly residents, and people have begun to speak up about this prevalent problem in an effort to stop it from continuing.
One organization in Alabama, the Sliver Haired Legislature (SHL), is proposing that new measures be taken, including a law that would require a nursing home to notify its residents when a previously convicted sex offender is admitted into the facility. Although this could help curb the growing problem, it is unclear how many incidents of sexual abuse go unreported—thus making it harder for the correct authorities to manage the problem. Oppositely, in other cases elderly patients are not taken seriously when they report an instance of sexual abuse. Recently in Indiana, an 84-year-old woman reported being sexually assaulted, but the police were left unsure of how to proceed based on the fact that she suffered from dementia.
When it cannot be discerned, which accusations are valid and which are a product of mental disease, it remains a struggle for the appropriate authorities to properly diagnose and remedy the problem. The biggest problem of all, however, is that many reports go unchecked. If a loved one has been sexually assaulted in a nursing home, you should not hesitate to take the appropriate action. Sexual abuse and nursing home negligence can have devastating consequences for the victim, and it is their right to pursue compensation. Do not let this behavior go unnoticed. Contact a personal injury attorney from our firm for more information.