Elder Sexual Abuse In Nursing Homes

Elder sexual abuse often goes unreported, leaving victims helpless at the hands of sexual predators. Any person who has a loved one residing in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or elder care facility should be aware of the signs of elder sexual abuse, as well what to do if abuse is suspected.

Elder sexual abuse can be defined as non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly person, as well as sexual contact with an elderly person who is incapable of giving consent. Nursing home residents may be sexually abused by staff members or other residents, and victims may be male or female.

Nursing home sexual abuse can take many forms, including forced nudity, pornographic picture taking, forced viewing of pornographic material, and unwanted sexual acts by staff members or fellow residents. Physical signs of elder sexual abuse include bruising around breasts or inner thighs, venereal disease, genital infections, difficulty walking or standing, and genital bleeding. Emotional indicators of elder sexual abuse include timid behavior, withdrawn demeanor, sudden personality changes, and odd or misplaced comments about sexual behavior.

Elder sexual abuse can occur when elder care facilities and nursing homes are insufficiently staffed and residents are not properly supervised. Improper staff training may contribute to the continuation of abuse if caregivers are unable to recognize and identify that elder sexual abuse is taking place and handle the situation in the appropriate manner.

The physical and mental impairments of some elderly nursing home residents may make it difficult for them to defend themselves against sexual assailants or report sexual abuse. In other cases, sexual predators are able to intimidate their elderly victims in order to keep them silent. Nursing home sexual abuse victims may also feel too embarrassed or ashamed to report the abuse they have experienced.

Elderly sexual assault victims need the same services and interventions younger victims need, such as emotional support, medical attention, protection from the abuser, and legal assistance. Seniors with cognitive impairments may need others to ensure their protection from further abuse and provide needed services.

Acknowledging that elder sexual abuse does occur is an important step in helping to prevent further assaults, as well as treating abuse victims. Visit IQ Nursing Homes to learn more about sexual abuse in nursing homes and the proper steps to take if elder sexual abuse is suspected.