CHICAGO, IL – When placing your loved one in a nursing home, you assume you can trust the facility and staff members to provide the best care and protect our family members. Many nursing homes are staffed with compassionate and attentive employees; however, others can expose residents to abuse and neglect. One of the most disturbing forms of nursing home abuse is sexual abuse.
Offenders of Sexual Abuse
Nursing home residents are some of the most vulnerable members of our society. Physical disabilities may reduce residents’ ability to care or protect themselves from harm. Cognitive impairments such as dementia or Alzheimer’s can reduce a resident’s ability to remember, communicate, and understand what’s occurring.
Unfortunately, these vulnerabilities make residents an easy target for abuse. There were more than 20,000 complaints of sexual abuse in nursing homes over the past 20 years according to the Administration for Community Living. This means that every day a resident is being sexually abused in their nursing home facility.
Common perpetrators of sexual abuse are those are typically in nursing home facilities such as friends, nursing home assistants, family members, live-in nursing aides, and other care providers that are left alone to care for residents.
Nursing Homes Legal Duty to Ensure a Safe Facility for Residents
Nursing homes have a legal obligation to protect residents in their facility from sexual abuse. Nursing homes should protect residents by:
- Training staff members on how to recognize signs of abuse
- Properly conducting thorough criminal background checks during pre-employment
- Taking residents’ complaints seriously
- Ensure the facility has proper security including functional locks, alarm systems, and security personnel
- Properly supervising residents
- Ensuring violent residents with a history of sexual abuse are not left alone with other residents
Preventing and Reporting Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
If you suspect your loved one has been sexually abused in their Illinois nursing home, family members and staff members should report the suspected abuse to Adult Protective Services to be investigated further.
A government-assigned caregiver will be in charge of the investigation and talk with the elderly individual to discuss what happened during the incident. They may also ask questions regarding the mental stability, current living circumstances, and the relationships in the elderly person’s life.
If sexual abuse is strongly suspected, the resident will be moved to a different healthcare environment. They may also be treated with sexual abuse counseling or medications.
If you suspect any kind of sexual abuse, please call our experienced sexual abuse nursing home attorneys of Dinizulu Law Group. Our skilled attorneys have the knowledge and resources to bring your loved one justice. Please call our office today for a free consultation at (312) 384-1920 or visit our website for more information.