The Tragedy of Sexual Assaults in Nursing Homes
Vulnerable Seniors Rape Victims
Stories of rape of nursing home patients are gruesome and nightmarish. And, grotesquely, on the rise. For decades, this little-discussed issue languished largely in the fading memories of senior victims and the dark secrecy of narrow halls and rooms of America’s nursing homes. Often, nursing home administrators failed to act, either out of denial or cowardice or a perceived inability to help patients who can’t exactly remember what happened to them or identify the perpetrator.
CNN recently examined this horrific subject and discovered a disturbing and growing reality beyond even the sex crime itself. One of the shock waves of their coverage is the size of this dilemma. CNN reports that, according to government data, more than 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse have been reported since 2000 in long-term care facilities and over 1,000 nursing homes throughout the country have been cited for sexual abuse in their facility. Reported cases are only the tip of the iceberg. The unbearably sad reality is that victims may have no idea what is happening to them as they are raped and, even if they do, afterwards the assault may be completely erased in their failing memory.
So what can you do to protect a loved one who may be a potential victim of sexual or physical elder abuse in a nursing home? CNN suggests a start with Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare website. There, you will find ratings of your facilities’ staffing, cleanliness, and inspection and citation record. The rest of the suggestions are more hands on and all extremely important: investigate any claim or accusation your loved one or another resident mentions, preserve any evidence, visit frequently, stay involved with your loved one and the team assigned to his or her care, and – most importantly – report anything that seems amiss and keep your own record of it.
If you or a loved one has experienced any elder abuse in California, contact the Evans Law Firm elder attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.