Nursing Home Abuse: Physical and Sexual

nursing home abuse, nursing home sexual abuse

Nursing Home Sexual Abuse & Physical Abuse Attorney

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Residents in nursing homes are especially vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse. Tragically, reports of deliberate physical abuse, such as hitting, slapping, biting and attacks by other residents and even staff members are all too common. Unbelievably, nursing home residents are also victims of sexual assault in nursing homes.

The physical abuse of a nursing home resident can take on many forms, including beatings, biting, food or water deprivation, the inappropriate use of restraints, as well as over-medicating patients to keep them quiet, docile and easier to control. In some instances, physical abuse may manifest itself obviously in bruises, broken bones or cuts. Other times, physical abuse may not be as obvious.

What does Nursing Home Abuse Look Like?  

Elderly abuse is fairly straightforward. It is defined as intentionally acting in a way that results in the harm or risk of harm to an elderly person. You may not always know when your loved one has been physically assaulted in a nursing home setting. For example, patients with dementia or other medical conditions may be unable to tell someone what happened to them. Other times, victims fear that the perpetrator will beat or injure them again if they speak up. Sometimes, generational ideas like being seen as a burden or a problem for others can hinder a victim of nursing home physical and sexual abuse from speaking up.

The physical abuse of a nursing home resident can take on many forms, including:

  • Beatings; including slaps, punches, hitting with objects, kicks
  • Threats involving guns, knives or other weapons
  • Biting
  • Food or water deprivation
  • Inappropriate use of restraints
  • Use of over-medicating patients to keep them quiet
  • Docile and easier to control

In some instances, physical abuse may manifest itself obviously in bruises, broken bones or cuts. Other times, the physical abuse may not be as obvious.

Elder sexual abuse is the initiation of physical or sexual contact with an elderly person. In these cases, the contact is usually non-consensual or unwanted. This includes sexual contact with an elderly person who is confused or unable to give consent. Unwanted touching or rape are both examples of nursing home sexual abuse.

Types of nursing home sexual abuse include:

  • Unwanted touching
  • Sexual assault and battery
  • Sexual assault and battery
  • Forced nudity
  • Sexual photography
  • Rape

Where Does Elder Sexual Abuse Happen?

According to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study of 1998, approximately 67% of elder sexual abusers were family members. Another study, published in the Journal of Abuse in 2000, estimated 12.2% of elder sexual abuse victims were assaulted within their own home. Approximately 14.6% of elder sexual abuse victims were assaulted in the sexual offender’s home. The largest percentage of elder sexual abuse, around 70.7% of cases, occurred within nursing homes.

Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse

Indicators of elder sexual abuse can be both physical and behavioral, including:

  • New emergence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • New difficulty sitting or walking
  • Pelvic injury
  • Bruises on inner thighs or around the genital area
  • Anal or genital pain, bleeding, or irritation
  • Bloody, torn, or stained undergarments
  • Extreme agitation
  • Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Panic attacks, or emerging post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms
  • Inappropriate, aggressive, or unusual sexual behavior
  • Inappropriate or unusual behavior, appearing as a sex-role relationship, between the victim and the elder sexual abuse suspect
  • Suicide attempts

Nursing Home Abuse Risk Factors 

Elder abuse is a growing danger for the nursing home in the United States. Nursing home elder abuse is considered a silent condition because no one knows exactly how many of our nation’s elderly are exploited, neglected or abused. Evidence suggests that thousands are harmed every day. However, no comprehensive statistics exist for each state reports different and these cases are often underreported.

Being a woman is an inherent risk of elder sexual abuse. Women are six times more likely to be a victim of elder sexual abuse.

Additional factors for nursing home sexual abuse includes residents who suffering Alzheimer’s, dementia or any other form of memory loss or mental impairment. Sadly, these most vulnerable patients are often targeted because the abuser believes no one will believe their complaints. As a result, a resident’s mental impairment will give an abuser confidence that they can inappropriately without consequence.

When a loved one is at-risk for nursing home physical and sexual abuse, it is important to watch for signs of abuse. If you suspect nursing home abuse, contact The Carlson Law Firm. Our nursing home physical abuse experts are ready to discuss your options for civil remedies.

Understaffing: Nursing home staff members may work long hours or for multiple days in a row. Overworked staff can let their frustrations out on residents. Additionally, with fewer people around, an abuser may have more time to both physically and sexually abuse a resident.

Lack of abuse prevention policies: Nursing homes should have a plan in place to prevent abuse.

Little or no family visits: Family and friends are great advocates for their loved ones in nursing homes. However, with the absence of these visits, residents have to rely on staff for their safety and health. For that reason, family and friend visits hold the staff accountable.

Aggressive Residents: Residents who behave in an aggressive or combative way can sometimes bring the worst out in a caregiver. However, this is no excuse for the nursing home staff to react in a way that causes harm or injury to a resident.

None of these reasons are valid excuses for nursing home physical abuse or sexual abuse. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, call The Carlson Law Firm to set up a free consultation with a nursing home physical abuse attorney. We can help you get the justice your loved one deserves.

How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help

Because elder abuse is a growing problem, lawyers are finding themselves in the position to represent unsuspecting families. Nursing home physical abuse and nursing home sexual abuse can leave you questioning if you failed in protecting your loved one. You didn’t. It is an unfortunate reality that no amount of research or recommendations on a long-term care facility or nursing home can prevent your loved one from being abused or fatally injured. We believe we have a duty to protect our most vulnerable populations. By contacting The Carlson Law Firm, you are doing more than seeking compensation—you are seeking justice. Together, we can help improve the conditions of nursing homes across the country. Our firm has a nursing home physical abuse attorney that can help you prove that the nursing home you trusted physically abused and assaulted your loved one. We can help you get justice.

If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse you should take action quickly and contact us online or call us at 866-817-3187 to set up a free consultation. Someone from our team is available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


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