Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
If you or your loved one is being sexually abused in a nursing home, you should get help. You may have a legal claim against the nursing home, and be entitled to recover monetary damages.
We hear about allegations of nursing home abuse more frequently than we should. Abuse of elders occurs in New York and across the country with alarming regularity. Emotional, financial, and physical abuse, as well as neglect, affect thousands of seniors and disabled individuals each year. Sexual abuse is also prevalent and is one of the most horrifying forms of nursing home abuse. If it happens to you (or someone you love) it is crucial to protect the safety and legal rights of the victim.
Deciding to enter a nursing home is not an easy process. Families often fear the worst and go to great lengths to ensure they are choosing a facility that promises to provide compassionate treatment and supervision of someone they love. However, asking the right questions and receiving the correct answers does not guarantee that you or your loved one will not be a victim of nursing home sexual abuse.
If you suspect sexual abuse in a nursing home, you should first make sure the victim is safe. It may require confronting the nursing home. You should also contact an experienced nursing home sexual abuse lawyer in New York. Alonso Krangle, LLP can evaluate your situation and help you collect monetary damages the law allows.
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes Occurs in Many Ways
Actions that constitute sexual abuse in nursing homes vary from sexual harassment to rape. Any sexual act that occurs without consent may be considered to be unlawful sexual abuse. The issue of consent is complicated when many victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes are elderly, physically limited, or emotionally/mentally compromised.
Sexual abuse may include:
- Exposure to pornographic videos or pictures
- Explicit sexual talk
- Unwelcome touching
- Inappropriate sexual innuendo and comments
Nursing home residents are dependent on their caregivers for many daily activities that require one-on-one contact in private settings. Dressing, bathing, using the restroom, getting in and out of bed, all provide ample opportunity for a caregiver to abuse a trusting patient.
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Is Often Unreported
The victims of nursing home sex abuse are often unable or unwilling to speak of their abuse. Remember, nursing home residents are dependent on their caretakers for a variety of things. Food, water, assistance with mobility. This dependence can make it especially difficult to speak up if they are experiencing sexual abuse. Some specific reasons victims may not report sexual abuse in a nursing home include:
- Fear of repercussions by their care givers such as withholding food, water, medication, and other necessities
- Fear of not being believed, social taboos
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Lack of understanding about what sexual abuse is
- Lack of emotional support, isolation
- Fear of additional abuse
Nursing home residents who experience sexual abuse are often victimized repeatedly. As with any form of abuse, it can be difficult for the victim to speak up and put a stop to such behavior. It is crucial that if you suspect that your loved one is sexually abused in a nursing home, you take immediate steps to protect them. Contact a lawyer with experience assisting victims of nursing home sexual abuse for help.
Look for Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Despite the trust you place in nursing home operators and their staff, you must always be on the lookout for problems that may arise. Because victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes may be unwilling or unable to speak up, it is essential that family members and visitors be on the lookout for signs of sexual abuse.
What are the signs of nursing home sexual abuse? Things to look for include:
- Bruises in the thigh or backside area
- Unexplained bruises or scratches
- Development of a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Sudden exhibition of fear around particular staff members or residents
- Declining health
- Making unusually inappropriate sexual comments
- Refusal to discuss activities or routines
- Direct allegations about sexual activity or abuse
If you notice any of these symptoms, do not ignore them. Ask questions and get help. Anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home; men and women, young and old. The perpetrator of sexual abuse can also be anyone; an employee, a vendor, a supervisor, a caretaker, another nursing home resident or a visitor. When your loved one is safe, contact our nursing home sexual abuse lawyer to find out how to protect any legal rights to pursue a claim for monetary damages.
Victims of Sexual Abuse Hold Nursing Homes Accountable With Help From Attorneys
Nursing homes are held to a legal standard of care. Laws and regulations govern many aspects of their businesses. When nursing home operators or their employees fail to meet that standard, and nursing home residents suffer injuries, the victims may have the right to pursue monetary damages against the nursing home. Nursing homes are often legally responsible for the actions of their employees. The right nursing home abuse lawyer, such as Alonso Krangle, LLP, can help determine who is ultimately accountable for sexual abuse.
The following are ways in which nursing homes may be liable for sexual abuse of a resident:
- Negligently hiring of an employee with a history of sexual abuse
- Failing to supervise workers’ interactions with residents
- Failing to take remedial steps after victim complains about sexual abuse
- Failing to provide training to employees about what constitutes improper behavior
- Failing to teach employees about the signs of sexual abuse
- Covering up allegations or withholding information regarding sexual abuse
- Failing to treat injuries of victims of nursing home sexual abuse
The safety of your loved one is of utmost importance when he or she is the victim of sexual abuse. However, confronting the abuser and holding the nursing home accountable for their actions can help you and your family heal. It might also prevent other victims from suffering. Speaking with an attorney who handles nursing home abuse cases is the first step in learning about whether you are entitled to file a claim and collect damages.
Call Alonso Krangle, LLP For Help If You Encounter Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home
Many questions arise when a family decides that a nursing home may be in their future: Will the staff be kind? Will the employees treat your loved one with compassion and dignity? Will everyone be mindful of his or her daily needs? The answer to these questions should always be “yes.”
Sexual abuse may be the last thing you think about when considering whether to place someone in a nursing home. But it should not be. Make sure you ask about the supervision of employees and visitors and what processes exist to ensure the safety of nursing home residents.
When the nursing home you trust does not fulfill its obligations to provide proper care and supervision, you may need to confront someone to put a stop to sexual abuse. Consider contacting a New York lawyer with experience handling cases involving sexual abuse in nursing homes.
Contact Alonso Krangle, LLP at 516-350-5555 today and receive a free evaluation of your case. If you have a legal claim against a negligent nursing home, find out how we can help you recover monetary damages.