Victims of any age and gender can be subjected to sexual abuse and assault, and though it may be surprising to some, the residents of nursing homes and long term care facilities are not immune from this threat. Rather, like many other victims, these residents may be abused because they are vulnerable targets and may not be able to resist or to report the misconduct done to them. Often, one abuser can victimize many in a single nursing home and can cause mental, emotional, and physical damages to these elderly victims.
Nursing home abuse is a tragic epidemic in our country and across the State of Illinois. Many believe that the low level of awareness of this issue coupled with a low coverage rate in the local medias contribute to the lack of knowledge possessed by the public about abuse and neglect in care facilities, which in turn makes it easier for aggressors to prey on their victims. However, it is a crime to harm the elderly and anyone who does so or who is responsible for such conduct may be held liable to the full extent of the law. Medical professionals may lose their licenses and may be charged criminally but in many instances, that is merely the tip of the iceberg as victims or their surviving family members may be entitled to financial payment for their losses. The circumstances surrounding a specific incident vary so it may be helpful to speak with a personal injury lawyer to learn about your options and whether your loved one is entitled to payment if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect.
In a disturbing incident out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a former nurse at a rehabilitation center has been charged with sexually assaulting a non-verbal patient. Police have alleged that the 45-year-old male nurse sexually assaulted a 50-year-old woman in the summer of 2013 and that the woman suffered from extremely limited movement. Officials claim that during the assault, the victim was able to activate a call button, leading another employee to enter the victim’s room and witness the assault in progress. This second employee allegedly testified against the suspect at a grand jury proceeding that occurred in late 2014 which led to an indictment and charges of aggravated indecent assault, which are pending at this time.
While this example of abuse occurred in Pennsylvania, unfortunately it is similar to incidents that happen in Illinois every year. Victims may be neglected or abused at the hands of care workers, those entrusted with the needs of elderly patients and who take advantage of that position.
When abuse happens, the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. want you to know that you may have legal options that entitle your loved one or your family to obtain financial compensation for your damages.
We offer a free case consultation to all those who contact us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we have an attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no obligation for those who contact us and everything discussed will be kept confidential so please do not hesitate; call us now and let us help your loved one or family seek the relief you deserve.
Prior Blog Entry:
Former Nursing Home Employee Indicted on Elderly Abuse Charges, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published January 6, 2015.
Police: Nurse charged with sexually assaulting Manor Care patient, by Pamela Lehman, The Morning Call, published January 5, 2015.