Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
We entrust nursing homes with the care of our loved ones when we’re no longer able to look after them and enable them to live the lives they deserve. It’s rarely an easy decision and one that requires us to place great trust in the facility we choose, so the thought of sexual abuse occurring while under their care is absolutely terrifying.
If someone you love is living in a nursing home and you believe they may be experiencing harm at the hands of nursing staff, your local personal injury firm has collated some of the most common signs of nursing home sexual abuse for you to watch out for and information on what to do next.
What Constitutes Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is physical or sexual contact that takes place without consent. In the case of those under nursing home care, they may be subject to intimidation or simply too confused to actively consent, and many forms of contact may constitute abuse. Though the most obvious and horrifying form of sexual abuse is rape, other examples include unwanted touching, sexual photography, forced nudity, and sexual assault.
Though the thought that any of these acts may take place in a nursing home setting is shocking, it’s sadly more common than we’d like to believe. One study into the matter concluded that in the space of only three years, over 1000 nursing homes in the United States were cited for incidents of sexual abuse.
Furthermore, The National Center for Victims of Crime found that particular nursing home residents experience sexual abuse at higher rates than others, with those suffering from dementia and debilitating illnesses or disabilities targeted considerably more often.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Though it’s certainly not fair to suggest that most nursing homes allow sexual abuse, or abuse of any kind, to happen to residents under their care, it’s always worth being mindful of potential signs.
Sexual abuse can be challenging to identify in the elderly, especially if their illnesses or infirmities make it difficult to report what is happening. They’re also more prone to minor injuries that may appear to be the result of abuse, such as bruising, making it all the more critical that we’re able to spot indicators and act on them accordingly. The following may all be signs that abuse is taking place:
- Sudden and unusual withdrawal from loved ones
- New bouts of low mood/onset of depression
- Changes to usual mood or temperament
- Unexplained or undocumented bruising, especially to thighs, genitals, etc.
- Difficulty mobilizing, walking, or sitting
- Discovery of UTIs/STIs with no apparent explanation
- Agitation or fear of particular nursing home staff
If somebody you love has been exhibiting signs that they may have been subject to sexual abuse, it’s of the utmost importance that you report your concerns to the authorities. An investigation should be launched immediately following your allegations to ascertain if abuse has occurred and safeguard residents under the nursing home’s care.
Speak with a Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Lawyer in Indiana
If you or a loved one have been forced to endure sexual abuse while supposedly being cared for at a nursing home, you deserve justice. If you need support with taking legal action and filing a compensation claim, contact our team at Kooi Law on 317-569-1335 or leave us a message on our contact form. We’d be happy to help ensure the guilty party faces repercussions for their actions.