When the topic of sexual abuse is raised, attention doesn’t generally go straight toward the elderly.
It is a common misconception that the elderly are not prey to sexual predators.
The fact is that the elderly are extremely vulnerable to sexual abuse, including sexual abuse in nursing homes.
The most vulnerable nursing home residents are those with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, who may have a difficult time understanding or reporting abuse.
We expect nursing homes to be a place of caring. A place where our elderly loved ones can relax and enjoy life without burdens.
Sadly, sexual abuse occurs in nursing homes all over the United States. It is perpetrated by nursing home staff members, caregivers, and fellow residents.
The number of sexual abuse claims in nursing homes will surprise many readers.
Since 2000, over 16,000 sexual abuse complaints have been filed against nursing homes.
So how do we stop this devastating trend?
How do we prevent sexual abuse in nursing homes?
Preventing Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Preventing sexual abuse in nursing homes begins with the company and filters down to staff members of all levels. From there, it filters down to residents.
Staff Members Nursing home administrators can reduce the risk of staff-related sexual assaults by doing the following:
• Conduct thorough background checks including a criminal history
• Avoid hiring individuals with a criminal history
• Train staff members on how to recognize and prevent sexual abuse
• Monitor staff and take complaints from residents seriously
• If a staff member is found to be inappropriate, terminate him or her immediately.
Do not allow abuse or neglect to continue.
It is important that staff members understand the reality of sexual abuse. It should never be tolerated by nursing home administrators.