Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

More than a million elders in the United States, upon reaching the age of 60, grow weak due to chronic fatigue, illness, or gradual loss of muscle strength, which is a result of aging and/or inactive lifestyle. This weakness often necessitates physical assistance even in the performance of the most ordinary daily chores, such as eating, bathing, toileting and dressing.

When work renders family members incapable of looking after their elders on a full-time basis, though, families turn to nursing homes where they know their loved ones will be provided the time, attention and quality care they have come to need.

In 2013, about 16,000 registered nursing homes in the U.S. gave shelter and provided care for more than 3 million residents: these are people who were victims of accidents are required rehabilitation and therapy; young adults suffering from mental or physical disability; and seniors, those aged 65 and above. Majority of the residents, besides needing assistance in their daily needs, also required medical attention.

Provision of quality care that skilled nursing facilities advertise and boast of id far from reality, though, as may probably be proven by all the alarming news of abuses committed against residents. These abuses are committed by home staff, nurses or co-residents, while types of abuse include financial, physical, mental, emotional or sexual.

Among the different types of abuse, sexual is considered to be the most wicked and degrading, yet the least reported due to the humiliation that victims experience. This abuse is committed through various ways, including fondling, forced nudity, showing of pornographic materials, forcing another resident to kiss or touch the victim and forced penetrative acts or rape. Rather than complain about their unpleasant and humiliating experience, however, many residents rather choose to remain silent in fear of being suspected of suffering from dementia (memory disorder or impaired reasoning). Any unexplained scar/s and the victim’s over-sensitivity to touch can be indications of sexual abuse, though, which authorities and family members should be observant of.

A family member sexually abused in a nursing home can result to some individuals blaming themselves for the suffering of their loved one. This is not their fault or their loved one’s fault, though. Sexual abuse is the work of depraved individuals who need to be held accountable for their grievous misdeeds.