The idea of your loved one suffering elder abuse in a nursing home is harrowing and frightening. Most loved ones place their elderly seniors in a nursing home for the specific reason that they will receive proper attention and remain safe.
If you discover that your elderly loved one suffered from sexual abuse while they were a resident in a nursing home, you have a strong case for a nursing home abuse claim.
While no amount of compensation will make up for the fact that your elderly loved one suffered abuse, you may be facing their medical bills and even therapy related to the abuse. Those who abused your elderly loved one should be held accountable and responsible for their actions.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm so a Forest Park sexual abuse lawyer can help you obtain justice for your elderly loved one.
Types of Sexual Abuse
Sexual assault comprises many types of actions. All types, however, hold one thing in common: They happen against the victim’s will or without their consent. Sexual assault also covers actions that occur when an individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, disabled, or below the age of consent in the state where the assault transpired.
The National Institute of Justice lists the following activities as forms of sexual assault when they happen in the above circumstances:
- Intentionally touching the victim’s genitals, breasts, groin, or anus
- Exposing the victim to exhibitionisms
- Exposing the victim to pornography
- Publicly displaying images taken of the victim in a “private context” or without their knowledge
These actions may or may not involve the use of actual force, weapons, threats of force, intimidation, coercion, or pressure.
Although in some states, sexual assault stops short of attempted rape or rape, other states use the terms interchangeably, and still others consider rape to be a form of sexual assault. In a situation of rape, the victim suffers nonconsensual penetration (vaginal, anal, or oral), either by objects or the perpetrator’s body parts. This type of assault involves physical force or threats of physical harm. Alternatively, the victim is considered a minor or was incapacitated at the time of the assault.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in the Elderly
Your elderly loved one may not want to talk about their injury or the sexual abuse they endured. If they suffer from a cognitive dysfunction such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they may not understand what actually happened to them, or even remember the abuse.
However, they may still have signs and symptoms of the sexual abuse. When you visit your elderly loved one in a nursing home, you should always look for signs of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.
If your elderly loved one does not directly tell you about any abuse, you may spot some signs on your own that are warning signs of bad care that could lead you to suspect that abuse occurred.
- Pelvic and groin injuries with unknown origin
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- The development of a sexually transmitted disease
- Stained, torn, or bloody underwear
- Bleeding from any part of the genitals or anus
- Bruising in the inner thigh or genital area
- Your elderly loved one appears to be in pain
- Sudden pains or the development of post-traumatic stress disorder without a known cause
- Sudden outbursts of anger
- Self-harm or attempts to harm others
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and social activities
- Suddenly engaging in aggressive, unusual, or sexually suggestive behaviors or making inappropriate comments
- Fear around certain nursing home staff members
In some cases, elderly residents of nursing homes may not have the ability or memory to communicate the fact that they suffered sexual abuse. They may also fear retaliation for reporting abuse in long-term care facilities.
Make sure to always carefully inspect your elderly loved ones for any signs or symptoms of sexual abuse when you visit. If you do suspect that your loved one suffered from sexual abuse, contact nursing home management immediately, along with any of the organizations that the Illinois Department of Aging advises you should inform and the police.
Then, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to have a Forest Park sexual abuse lawyer help you build a nursing home abuse case.
For a free legal consultation with a Sexual Abuse Lawyer serving Forest Park, call (800) 794-0444
Determining Perpetrators of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Nursing home staff employees should always care for the individuals in a nursing home. However, abusers can be staff members of the facility. Residents could suffer abuse from other parties as well. The following is a list of those who could inflect sexual abuse of older nursing home residents.
Staff Members Could Abuse Those They Should Be Protecting
Staff members have the most opportunity to inflict sexual abuse on the residents of a nursing home. Abusers often target vulnerable residents who may have cognitive medical conditions that leave the residents unable to understand the abuse or report it.
Other Nursing Home Residents Could Target Others
Another resident of the nursing home could have abused your loved one, either intentionally or due to their confusion. However, the nursing home remains responsible for all residents’ actions, as the staff has a duty to continually monitor all residents and ensure their safety.
Third Parties Can Also Abuse Their Access to the Elderly
Many different vendors, salespersons, visitors of other residents, medical care providers, and others walk in and out of nursing homes every day. Without proper vigilance and monitoring, any one of these third parties could take advantage of a vulnerable senior and attack them.
It is important to note that in all of these cases, the nursing home remains liable and responsible for the care of the resident. While you may be able to bring a lawsuit against another resident or third party for sexual abuse, you may also bring a lawsuit against the nursing home for negligence due to their failure to monitor and maintain a safe environment for your elderly loved one.
Forest Park Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Responsibilities
Nursing homes have a responsibility to ensure that their residents remain safe and free from harm. If nursing home management discovers that any type of abuse of a resident occurred, they have the legal responsibility to call the police and report this as a crime.
Additionally, the nursing home must contact the family members of the victimized nursing home resident and inform them of the incident of sexual abuse and provide all information related to the assault and abuse.
The nursing home resident should receive immediate medical attention and transportation to a hospital, if necessary. If the nursing home attempts to cover up the sexual abuse in any way, they may face additional charges.
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You may feel angry, guilty, frustrated, and overwhelmed if you learn that your elderly loved one suffered sexual abuse while they were a resident in a nursing home. Your goal was to place them in a nursing home to improve their quality of life and ensure their safety.
Your elderly loved one deserves justice. Filing a claim against the nursing home for elder abuse or neglect with respect to sexual abuse may prevent other residents from future sexual abuse or neglect.
If your loved one suffered sexual abuse in a nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today so a Forest Park sexual abuse lawyer can get started on your case.