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The Disturbing Problem of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse

Posted on in Sexual Abuse

Illinois nursing home sexual abuse lawyersNursing homes should be safe havens for individuals who suffer from physical or mental impairments. While many nursing homes are staffed by compassionate and attentive employees, other nursing homes expose residents to neglect and abuse. One of the most disturbing forms of nursing home abuse is sexual abuse. If a nursing home resident suffers from sexual abuse, a civil action against the facility may hold the wrongdoers accountable and get justice for the injured resident.

Sexual Abuse May Be Perpetrated by Staff, Other Residents, or Visitors

Nursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Physical ailments reduce many residents’ ability to care for themselves and protect themselves against harm. Cognitive impairments from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease reduce residents’ ability to remember, communicate, and understand.

Sadly, these vulnerabilities make nursing home residents an easy target for perpetrators of abuse. Ombudsman programs investigated over 800 reports of sexual abuse in 2016 alone. Sometimes, the perpetrator is a staff member. Other times, the perpetrator of sexual abuse is another resident. Visitors to the facility and third-party contractors who work for the facility may also be perpetrators of sexual violence against residents.

Nursing Homes Have a Legal Duty to Ensure a Safe Facility

Nursing home staff have a legal obligation to protect residents from sexual abuse. Nursing homes should protect residents by:

  • Properly vetting staff through pre-employment criminal background checks
  • Training staff on how to recognize and prevent abuse  
  • Taking resident complaints seriously
  • Ensuring that the nursing home has proper security including functional locks, alarm systems, and security personnel
  • Properly supervising residents
  • Ensuring that violent residents or those with a history of sexual abuse are not left alone with other residents

Sexual abuse can lead to devastating physical and psychological harm. If your loved one was sexually abused while living in a nursing home, report the incident immediately. The perpetrator may face criminal consequences for his or her actions. You may also have the option of bringing a personal injury case on your loved one’s behalf. A personal injury claim may help you hold the nursing home and other liable parties accountable for the harm they caused your loved one.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Lawyer

If your loved one was the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home, contact Schwartz Injury Law. Our Chicago nursing home injury attorneys are committed to holding negligent nursing homes and abusive staff accountable. Call us at 312-535-4625 for a confidential, free consultation.

 

Source:

https://eldermistreatment.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Consumer-Voice_sexual-abuse-issue-brief-FINAL.pdf

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