The CDC has estimated that over two million people over the age of 65 currently live in nursing homes around the United States. It is estimated that the are more than sixteen thousand (16,000) nursing homes operating in the United States. With more elderly people living in nursing homes comes the unfortunate reality of nursing home abuse and neglect. There are four forms of nursing home abuse, however, this article will focus on sexual abuse. These forms of nursing home abuse are:
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial exploitation and
- Sexual abuse
While some residents are neglected, a large number fall victim to active abuse by caregivers and other staff.
This is often the unspoken form of abuse toward the elderly; however, it is happening. Nursing home residents have become victims of sexual abuse. The elderly are targeted because of their reliance on their caregivers. These caregivers may provide care relating to bathing, dressing and grooming of residents. Further, when abused sexually the resident may be expected to report the abuse to the perpetrator.
Sexual abuse goes beyond physical contact but extends to verbal communication or other acts. This can include requiring a resident to undress unnecessarily in front of a staff member or other person.
Some warning signs of sexual abuse may include the following:
- Reports or complaining of injury around genitalia or breasts
- Resident being diagnosed of sexually transmitted diseases (STD)
- Stained or torn clothing or bedding
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
Elder abuse and neglect are serious as they have damaging effects on the victim. Not only does it cause mental, physical and emotional trauma; it may result in death. If you suspect any form of elder abuse, report it immediately to local law enforcement. In addition, contact the Vinson Law Office for advice by a nursing home abuse lawyer.