Most visitors to nursing home are aware of the importance of watching for signs of physical abuse, as reports of nursing home abuse and neglect have become common. Unfortunately, visitors to nursing homes often do not consider the real risk of sexual abuse because they may believe seniors are too old to be victimized in this way.
The reality, however, is sexual abuse is not about sex- it is about power and control. Seniors of any age or in any health condition could become the victim of acts of sexual abuse and this can have devastating physical and emotional ramifications. Sexual abuse can be perpetrated by staff members at the nursing facility. Other residents could also engage in abusive behavior, for which the nursing home could be held liable if it failed to provide adequate supervision and protection to residents.
If sexual abuse occurs in a nursing home setting, victims need to get help. An Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyer can provide representation to victims who wish to pursue a case against the nursing home for the harm they endured.
Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Can Include Sexual Abuse
Recently, Long-Term Living Magazine reported on a case in which a nursing home was fined $6,300 and forced to create a policy related to sexual abuse prevention. An investigation determined the operator of the nursing home had failed to follow mandatory reporting rules when sexual abuse occurred and had failed to take reasonable precautions to provide protection from sexual abuse to staff residents. The nursing home operator lost his license, and the home was transferred to the control of his brother who still had a clean license.
The penalties were imposed upon the nursing home because a clear pattern of sexual abuse had been identified but not acted upon. One of the male residents had victimized female residents several times.
A housekeeper had reported an incident in which the male resident’s pants were down and he was forcing a female resident to touch his groin area. The same male resident had also forced another woman to make sexual contact with him, and had tried to get into the room of a female patient multiple times.
Despite reports from the housekeeper and other staff members noticing problems, nothing was done until the man’s behavior became unruly when trying to grope a female patient in the dining room. Finally, the police were called and the report to the police indicated the man’s behavior had become increasingly sexually aggressive.
The nursing home should have taken action he first time this male resident was observed violating a female patient. Unfortunately, the behavior was dismissed as a consensual act between two patients with dementia when it wasn’t.
When nursing homes allow behavior like this to occur with residents, residents are harmed and the nursing home can be just as accountable as if a staff member was the one who actually perpetrated the sexual abuse. Victims need to get appropriate help holding the nursing home responsible for facilitating abuse.
The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or other harmful behaviors. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.