These days, older adults are living longer than ever before. Because of this, more (and more) families are dealing with issues related to advanced age that few families dealt with in the past. When a senior in their 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond requires round-the-clock care, their loved ones can be in the difficult position of deciding how to properly care for them. Often, the only practical solution is a nursing home. When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect to get a call about them falling, or becoming more forgetful, or even passing away, but you don’t expect to receive a call that they have been raped. Unfortunately, sexual abuse in nursing homes is more common and widespread than one might think, and many vulnerable adults are in danger.
What You Need to Know
According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, “Sexual abuse is non-consensual sexual contact by one person upon another. It may happen as the result of deceiving, manipulating, or forcing the resident into sexual contact. Sexual abuse is a form of elder abuse that frequently goes underreported, under-investigated, and unnoticed. In 2016, Ombudsman programs investigated 819 complaints regarding sexual abuse.” Sexual abuse is not limited to rape, it can include:
- Forcing the resident to be nude
- Forcing the resident to watch pornography or masturbation
- Unwanted sexual contact of any kind, especially to the breasts or genitals
- Taking sexually-explicit videos or pictures of the resident
- Taking pictures or recordings of the resident dressing or bathing
In the CNN exposé, “Sick, Dying And Raped in America’s Nursing Homes,” the authors of the article wrote, “ The unthinkable is happening at facilities throughout the country: Vulnerable seniors are being raped and sexually abused by the very people paid to care for them.” Unfortunately, the authors of this CNN article are on to something and we have seen sexual abuse in nursing homes at our firm in Plano, Texas. If you are concerned that your loved one is a victim of sexual abuse by the very people who are supposed to care for him or her, we urge you to contact our firm for help. Next: What is Nursing Home Abuse?