Sexual abuse in nursing homes is an unspeakable crime that occurs in California more frequently than many realize. If you believe your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home, turn to J&Y Law. Our personal injury attorneys are committed to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society from sexual abuse.
We are well-versed in the applicable laws that protect the rights of nursing home residents, including the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act. Because we understand how traumatic elder sexual abuse can be for the entire family, we will offer you knowledge, compassion and trustworthy advice so that you can make the best decisions about your loved one’s well-being.
While elder sexual abuse is a criminal offense, your loved one may be entitled to civil damages regardless of whether the defendant is convicted. When you become our client, we will work tirelessly to hold the nursing home and any other responsible parties accountable. Please contact our office today to learn how we can help. Your initial consultation with one of our nursing home abuse attorneys will be free and you won’t have to pay us anything until we win compensation for you.
The Grim Facts of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Legally, elder sexual abuse is defined as any inappropriate, non-consensual sexual contact against an individual 60 years and older. Nursing home residents who suffer from confusion or are unable to communicate are at risk of all types of sexual abuse, such as kissing, fondling, coerced nudity, sexual photography, sexual assault and rape.
In the majority of cases, the offender is a male and commonly a fellow resident; however, there are also cases in which the perpetrator is a guest, staff member, or caretaker. In any event, nonconsensual sexual contact with an elder is illegal.
Nursing Homes Have An Obligation to Protect Residents
A facility that fails to provide residents with a safe and secure environment may be held liable for nursing home sexual abuse. In particular, nursing homes have a legal obligation to:
- Screen incoming residents to determine if they are prone to abuse others sexually
- Vet prospective employees for a criminal history of sexual assault
Moreover, to maintain a standard of care and safety, all nursing homes must establish safeguards to help prevent incidents of sexual abuse. Such safeguards include:
- Security clearance for visitors
- Locking outer doors at night
- Frequent welfare checks on patients
It is worth noting that caregivers and medical professionals are mandatory reporters under California law, which means they have a legal obligation to report any suspected cases of elder sexual abuse. Finally, nursing home staff must be trained to recognize and report cases of sexual abuse.
If you believe your loved one has been sexually abused in a nursing home, immediately report the incident and then contact J&Y Law. We have the skills, experience, and determination to hold the negligent party accountable and to protect your loved one’s rights and dignity.
Why Nursing Home Residents are at Risk of Sexual Abuse
Elderly patients in long-term care centers are especially vulnerable because they are separated from loved ones and may be unable to physically defend themselves or communicate. Those suffering from both cognitive and physical impairments are more at risk of abuse. In particular, older women with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease or who are more physically frail are most at risk and less likely to communicate the abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Unfortunately, nursing home sexual abuse goes unreported because victims may fear retaliation from the perpetrator or feel too ashamed to speak up. This is why family members must be vigilant for any physical and behavioral signs and symptoms of elder sexual abuse, including:
- Bloody sheets or clothing
- Bruising or irritation in the genital or anal area
- Sexually transmitted disease or infection
- Difficulty sitting or walking
- Anxiety around a particular staff member/resident
- Shame or alienation
Family members should also comfort their loved ones and encourage them to open up about any sexual abuse they have suffered.
Contact Our California Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Injury Lawyers
J&Y Law is here to help if you believe your loved one has been victimized by a nursing home employee or resident. When you consult with us, we will conduct a thorough investigation to determine if there are grounds for a civil lawsuit against the nursing home. Depending on the circumstances, we can help your loved one recover damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional harm and loss of enjoyment of life. Above all, we will offer you knowledge, compassion and dependable service. Please contact our office today to speak with one of our caring nursing home sexual abuse lawyers.