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Watch for These Signs That Your Loved One Is the Victim of Sexual Abuse at Her Nursing Home

older womanSexual abuse of anyone is a crime and a horrific experience for the victim. When a person is especially vulnerable, such as an elderly person in a nursing home, sexual abuse can feel even worse. If you're forced to place your family member in a nursing home, you may not even think of the dangers she faces of being abused. However, this is a common problem, and you need to watch for the warning signs in case your loved one is too afraid to tell you or is unable to tell you what's going on.

Who Is Most at Risk of Being Sexually Abused?

The perpetrator of the sexual abuse can be a nursing home staff member, another resident, or even a stranger visiting the nursing home. The victim is not always a woman, nor is the person committing the sexual abuse always of the opposite sex. Abusers often pick victims who have difficulty communicating due to their health condition, memory issues, confusion, or fear of retaliation.

Here are some sobering facts:

  • Abuse is higher in nursing homes that have a large population of people suffering from dementia.
  • The rate of abuse is greater when a nursing home doesn't have sufficient staff.
  • Women are the majority of the victims.
  • If a nursing home doesn't have an anti-sexual abuse policy, or has incidents of abuse in the past, current residents face an increased risk of being abused.

Warning Signs That Your Family Member Is Being Sexually Abused

There are many types of sexual abuse, such as unwanted touching, forced nudity, sexual assault and battery, sexual photography, and rape. Many victims fear retaliation and denial of food or other basic necessities if they speak out, so they don't. Watch for these signs that your loved one is being sexually abused:

  • Fear of affection or being touched
  • Problems sleeping
  • Unexplained blood on her clothing or bedding
  • Bleeding or bruising, especially in the genital area
  • Bruising on the buttocks, inner thighs, or breasts
  • Unexplained pain when she is sitting or walking
  • Genital area infections
  • Unusual fear or anxiety, especially when a certain person is nearby
  • Sudden depression, refusal to communicate, or withdrawal
  • Psychosomatic complaints, such as frequent headaches
  • Suicide attempts

What Should You Do If You Suspect Sexual Abuse

If you suspect a family member is being sexually abused at her nursing home, you want to discuss this with her, and immediately contact the police and appropriate medical professionals. Your next step should be to contact an experienced attorney who can help you take legal action for your loved one to obtain the compensation she deserves for her sexual and nursing home abuse. Call Morton Law Offices today at 888.716.8021 today to schedule a free consultation.