Sexual Elder Abuse
A significant portion of the elderly population of the United States ends up spending some time in a nursing home as they get older. It may be a brief stay to recover from surgery, moving to a retirement community when it becomes difficult to look after themselves at home, or, for those with chronic medical conditions, it may be necessary to stay in a skilled nursing facility to ensure that they are properly cared for. As the senior population grows in the coming years, the size and number of these nursing homes is only likely to increase.
However, whenever a case of nursing home abuse arises, it raises serious questions about what steps are necessary to ensure that residents are properly cared for. Many nursing homes, both within California and across the U.S., have had serious deficiencies in the standard of care provided to residents, often arising from staffing shortages and lack of training. Many of these nursing homes are repeat offenders, dealing with chronic breakdowns in their services, and even incidents as serious as sexual assault.
Many of these problems are due to nursing home owners trying to eke out as much profit as possible from Medicare and insurance policies, while spending as little as possible on upkeep. While wealthy seniors can afford to pay the steep rates of high-end residential care facilities, a large portion of the elderly are counting on subsidies from the government, which generally top out at around $1,000/month, far less than most facilities would like to charge. Because of this, nursing homes sometimes resort to tricks to expel Medicare patients, such as refusing to allow them back into the facility after they go to a hospital for treatment. Our Alameda Nursing home attorneys have been paying close attention to this case, and are involved in helping seniors get fair treatment by nursing home facilities.
The worst case scenario is the physical and sexual abuse of seniors. While it’s hard to track exact numbers of incidents of sexual assault, as seniors are often too embarrassed to report such occurrences, and nursing homes are naturally averse to making such information public, what numbers we do have suggest that it is far more common than we would hope. Sexual abusers may see seniors who are isolated from family, or who have memory loss, as easy targets for predation. While family members might expect the nursing home to take immediate action to fire or prosecute abusers, in some cases, nursing homes continued to employ caretakers with a history of complains regarding sexual abuse.
It’s never easy to discuss elder abuse issues with parents, and even less so when the perpetrator may be a long-term caregiver who is known to the family, but the first and most important step in preventing elder abuse is establishing open communication with your loved ones. If you believe that financial or physical abuse may have taken place, contact the Evans Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation. Our Alameda nursing home attorneys are experienced in handling cases involving elder and nursing home with discretion, and can help guide your case through a jury trial or towards an equitable settlement. We can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.