When medical facilities such as nursing homes and assisted care facilities fail to provide adequate medical care and to keep patients safe, the results can be catastrophic. Residents may suffer physical abuse, including sexual abuse.
Nursing homes and other facilities may fail to report abuse, and victims are often unable to report it themselves, which means elder sexual abuse incidents are most likely underreported.
If elderly residents do attempt to report abuse, they are too often not taken seriously. Victims who may not be able to ask for help, or have Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other cognitive difficulties, are at increased risk for sexual abuse because they are unable to recall recent events and communicate them clearly to others.
Sexual abuse, in these situations, is often the result of the facility’s negligence in hiring and supervising qualified staff. From failure to perform background checks to understaffing, nursing home negligence can create an environment in which residents are easy victims.