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Elder Issues

Save Your Loved Ones from Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Posted by on Dec 29, 2016 in Elder Issues | 0 comments

Based on records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in February 2015, the number of nursing home facilities in the U.S. was 15,700. Nursing home facilities, also called skilled nursing facilities, are places where people, who can no longer be given the necessary care at home, but who do not really need to be in a hospital are brought by their loved ones. These people, or nursing home residents, include: elders, usually 65 years old; individuals who, because of an illness (such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s), require extra care and assistance; and, those needing rehabilitation therapies. CDC records also show that the present number of residents in nursing homes total to 1.4 million.

Due to the frequency of nursing home abuses (as reported over the news), many families are rather opting for assisted living, visiting home health services or caregiving (which will allow older adults to stay at home), especially if the need is custodial care rather than skilled medical attention.

The most common forms of abuses nursing home residents experience are physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse and, the most degrading and wicked of all, sexual abuse. This last type of abusive conduct is committed in various ways, including showing of pornographic materials, forced nudity, fondling, forcing another resident to kiss or touch the victim and, worst of all, forced penetrative acts.

Despite the gravity of the offense, sexual abuse is the least reported type of abuse due to the humiliation the victim feels. Rather than reveal the abuses that he/she is being made to suffer, a victim, instead, becomes withdrawn, silent, sensitive to touch, evasive of eye contact and low-esteemed. Many sexually abused victims also sustain laceration and/or other wounds which they refuse to explain the cause of.

As explained in the website of the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, sexual abuse in nursing homes has real consequences for its victims. They begin to feel unsafe around other people and must live with the terror of knowing the abuse could happen again. Unwelcome or non-consensual sexual activity should have no place in nursing homes. Thus, if a family member even has the least feeling of suspicion that his/her loved one may be experiencing sexual abuse, an attorney may be able to help prove it and hold the responsible party accountable.

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