Living in a nursing home or elder facility should allow you or your loved ones to enjoy their golden years, but abuse can and does happen. You are reading this page because:
At Abuse Guardian, our legal team understands this area of the law. We can help. Looking for an experienced sexual assault lawyer? Call our attorneys today for a free consultation
Entrusting someone else with the care of an elderly loved one is never easy. Unfortunately, most families don't have the time or resources to care for their older parents, grandparents, and other relatives when they can no longer care for themselves.
Nursing homes and care facilities provide this much-needed service, but the system is rife with problems. Families across the country have been devastated to find out that a loved one has been sexually assaulted in a facility which is supposed to help them live their last years comfortably.
When you have a family member with deteriorating health, you prepare yourself for a phone call telling you that they've passed away. But no one is ever prepared to hear that an older loved one has been raped or sexually assaulted. Continue reading to learn more, or learn more about sexual assault happening in other areas including on public transportation, from our bus sexual assault lawyers.
For many people, it's unimaginable to think that a nurse, aide, or another employee could be capable of such a horrendous crime. But it's important to take these types of allegations seriously and to hold both the perpetrators and negligent institutions accountable for their actions.
When a senior citizen is victimized in a nursing home sexual assault, it's often difficult to find justice for the victim. The predators who commit these crimes often see the elderly as easy targets, since many elderly people have conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's which might prevent others from believing their accusations.
Additionally, nursing homes and government bodies that oversee them often do little or nothing to stop these crimes or to prosecute offenders.
Common hurdles faced by older sexual assault victims and their families include:
Like any other claim of sexual abuse, we must take senior citizens seriously when they speak out. Both regulatory officials and nursing homes need to do more to investigate these claims and to reprimand employees who have been accused of elder sexual abuse in the past.
Nursing home employees aren't the only ones who are committing sexual assault against residents. Other possible perpetrators include:
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a responsibility, both ethically and legally, to protect residents from all forms of sexual victimization, no matter the offender.
Nursing homes need to do more to protect their residents from potential abusers. An accusation of sexual assault or abuse needs to be taken just as seriously as if a young child made the accusation. Far too often, multiple parties could have prevented an assault. Common forms of nursing home negligence include:
There is no excuse for sexual assault being such a widespread problem in our nursing homes. An in-depth nursing home sexual abuse study by CNN found that "victims and their families were failed at every stage." We must do more to ensure that our senior citizens live their twilight years with dignity and respect.
If your family has been affected by this widespread tragedy, you may find yourself feeling frustrated. It may feel like no one cares, as nursing home employees and even the police might have dismissed your relative's allegations as a fantasy or hallucination.
In these cases, it's often necessary to hire a victims' rights attorney who will fight for your family's interests.
A civil lawyer can help you in areas where the criminal justice system, state regulatory bodies, and nursing home officials have failed you. They can investigate your loved one's nursing home to make sure they did everything in their power to both prevent incidents like this from occurring and to punish those who commit these crimes.
Filing a lawsuit against these entities may eventually lead to reform as more and more families speak out about this national crisis. If nursing homes are forced to operate more responsibly, that means fewer victims will have to suffer from sexual assault and abuse. Additionally, it can provide your family with the financial compensation you need and deserve while recovering from this harrowing experience.