Sexual abuse commonly happens in nursing homes, unfortunately, and when it does, it affects not only the victim but their families who trusted a facility to take care of their loved one.
If you have a senior family member or friend in a nursing home in Seattle, it is important to know about the issues affecting residents who live in senior care facilities and the challenges these facilities face.
Sexual abuse is a form of negligence on the part of the nursing home. If sexual abuse occurs in a nursing home, it could indicate that the nursing home management is negligent. A nursing home facility is responsible for the care of its patients.
If you suspect sexual abuse or abuse of any kind is happening, you could also seek the counsel of a Seattle sexual abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. A lawyer can support you and help uncover possible evidence of misdeeds that could be taking place in the facility where your loved one lives.
Give us a call today at (800) 842-6336 to discuss your case and learn how we might be able to help.
Sexual abuse in nursing homes is seen as one part of the larger category of elder abuse in nursing homes, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).
At least 1 in 10 Americans aged 60-plus have been victimized by a form of elder abuse in a nursing home, according to the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Among the types of abuse that can take place may include:
- All forms of physical abuse, including hitting, punching, kicking
- Non-consensual touching, groping, and fondling
- Emotional abuse and/or mental abuse
- Neglect or confinement abuse
- Deliberate hurtful behavior to nursing home residents
- Withholding food and medications
In many of these cases, residents are being harmed because the nursing home’s internal controls and processes are not working correctly. When a nursing home operation is poorly managed, an increase in cases of elder abuse might increase, too.
If you think your loved one is being abused, contact 911, law enforcement, or an agency that oversees nursing homes to report the abuse. The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) explains how to file a complaint process on its website.
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
The Washington State Legislature statutes define what sexual abuse is, which is any situation that results in an unwanted form of touching. This kind of touching is considered non-consensual and is usually done with sexual intent. Sexual abuse could include touching, groping, fondling, inserting, rape, coercion into sexual acts, photographing someone of a sexual nature, mean sexual language, and other similar acts.
This type of sexual abuse usually occurs between a staff member and a resident, with females being the victims in a higher number of cases. However, sexual abuse can also take place on a resident-to-resident basis, with one nursing home resident taking advantage of another resident for sexual gratification.
Many elderly residents cannot or do not put up resistance when it comes to forms of abuse. Some residents may be in a particular mental state that makes them unaware of what is happening to them. Other residents may suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, rendering them ill-equipped to understand the abuse that may be happening.
If your senior loved one has suffered from this kind of abuse, they could be dealing with physical, mental, and emotional damage that requires professional care. Your situation might call for hiring a Seattle sexual abuse lawyer to help bring various forms of abuse to light and pursue compensation for your loved one.
For a free legal consultation with a Sexual Abuse Lawyer serving Seattle, call (800) 794-0444
Signs of Sexual Abuse
It might be challenging to confirm if your loved one is a victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home. Still, there are signs you can look for, which include:
- Arms and leg bruises
- Bruises around the breasts, genital areas
- Changes in behavior and personality
- Possible weight loss from not eating
- Anger or other forms of aggressive outbursts
- Lack of interest in cleanliness or clothing
- Increasingly isolated feelings or behavior when visitors arrive
- Possible signs of depression or anxiety
- Unexplained diseases that are sexual in origin
Anytime you start to see signals that these changes are occurring in your loved one in a nursing home, it could be a sign that your family member is being abused or neglected in some way.
If you suspect that a loved one is being sexually abused in their Seattle-area nursing home, and you are interested in seeking legal counsel, give Pintas & Mullins Law Firm a call today. We want to hear the details of your case and can advise you as you consider your next steps. Call a team member to set up a free consultation today.
Seattle Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Filing an Abuse or Negligence Lawsuit
If you have noticed significant signs of physical and/or sexual abuse concerning your loved one, you should first get them to a place of safety so that they can receive the medical help and mental health care they need. Contact the authorities as soon as possible to file a complaint, as mentioned earlier.
If you want to pursue legal action on behalf of your loved one, a lawyer can show you how to pursue a case for negligence against the nursing home. A discovery stage may even unveil earlier or other instances of sexual abuse in the nursing home and whether the facility in question has been cited before on similar charges.
Our legal team can guide you through the legal steps involved in filing a lawsuit for abuse or negligence against the nursing home in question, its staff and management, and its owners for negligence with your loved one. We can help you establish liability depending on the evidence gathered and determine the compensation you could seek to recover damages your loved one has incurred.
Elder abuse should not be allowed in any nursing home. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free consultation today and learn how a Seattle sexual abuse lawyer could help you and your loved one.
Call or text (800) 794-0444 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form