Sexual abuse and assault is a criminal offense that can leave a victim with serious, often permanent injuries. Many areas of sexual abuse are recognized and some receive news coverage but one type of sexual abuse that often goes unreported or not publicly discussed is sexual abuse of elderly adults in nursing homes and other assisted living facilities.
Yet some instances are still reported, reminding the public that loved ones are not necessarily safe simply because they are in the care of a home or facility. Nursing homes are only as safe as they are made by the staff employed there and the owners of the home. Many homes work understaffed or with staff that is not properly trained either due to a labor shortage or as a means to increase profits. Yet other homes have been known to hire individuals with undesirable backgrounds and allow them to work with the most vulnerable of residents.
It is unclear whether an Ohio nursing home should have known of a problem with a 22-year-old employee before he was hired, but now, it appears that the man should never have been around elderly patients. A grand jury just indicted the man, formerly an employee at a Deer Park nursing home, for sexually assaulting a 92-year-old female patient at the home where he worked in late November. According to officials associated with the case, another employee entered the woman’s room and noticed signs of sexual assault. The defendant was in the room’s private bathroom and was the only person besides the 92-year-old victim present.
The physical and mental state of the victim before the alleged abuse are not known at this time, but often the victims of nursing home abuse are unable to defend themselves or unable to report the mistreatment. This makes them easy targets for all types of physical and mental abuse as perpetrators are known to seek jobs where they have easy access to their victims.
The vulnerability of nursing home patients coupled with the potential lack of ability to report abuse is thought to be a contributing factor to overall low numbers of reported incidents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospice homes, and adult day care. Yet abuse continues to happen in these facilities in Chicago, the state of Illinois, and across the nation.
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of abuse while a resident in a nursing home, call our legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and speak with one of our skilled nursing home abuse lawyers. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call at (855) 529-2442 or (312) 924-7575 and there is no obligation on your part for taking advantage of the consultation.
Do not let your loved one continue to suffer after being abused. Call us today and let us help your family towards a path of recovery.
Prior Blog Entry:
Nursing Home Employee Accused of Withholding Vital Medicine from Patient, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published December 6, 2013.
Nursing Home Aide Indicted for Rape, CBS 12 News Cincinnati, published December 10, 2013.