Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
When a family member or loved one requires nursing home care, most people expect that they will be watched over by professionals and treated with kindness, respect and dignity. While many nursing care facilities do offer all of these things and more, unfortunately, there are cases in which a nursing home patient is subjected to neglect, poor medical care and even sexual nursing home abuse.
When these events occur, it is not always apparent to friends, family and loved ones, and in extreme cases, this kind of treatment can lead to physical, mental and emotional trauma which can ultimately be life threatening.
Although neglect and poor medical care can cause many problems for residents of nursing homes, sexual abuse is often the worst type of crime that can take place in such a setting. The problem with sexual abuse within a nursing home setting is that it takes on a variety of facets, and each one causes a victim to suffer in silence.
Often times, victims of sexual abuse in a nursing home are victimized because their condition makes it difficult to communicate with others. Additionally, victims of sexual abuse in a nursing home are intimidated by their abuser, or they are told that they will not receive food, medication or other necessities if they speak of the abuse. Finally, as with virtually all sexual abuse cases, victims are often ashamed of what is taking place and therefore, they don't tell anyone.
Unfortunately, many family members do not find out about the sexual abuse of their loved ones in a nursing home until it's too late. Often, this kind abuse goes undetected for weeks, months or even years, and in some cases, it is never reported.
In extreme cases, nursing home staff and authorities are aware of the abuse and yet they choose to ignore it. In these situations, staff members who are responsible for the abuse may simply be transferred to a different area of the home or to another facility. Unfortunately, these types of offenders generally go on to abuse others in their new surroundings, continuing the cycle of pain.
The Role of a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you suspect that a loved one is being sexually abused in a nursing home, you should contact the proper authorities in your area to document your claims and have the situation investigated.
Additionally, you should also contact a nursing home abuse lawyer who specializes in sexual abuse and elder care abuse cases. Such an attorney will be able to meet with you to discuss your specific case, and they can also give you options for how to proceed with ending the abuse and possibly obtaining compensation for your loved one.
If your case goes to court, your lawyer will be able to investigate the abuse and then provide the evidence for you and your loved one to a judge. This means that you and your loved one will be able to concentrate on healing from the damage done while your lawyer handles all paperwork, representation, and contact with authorities, witnesses, insurance companies and more.