Florida Nursing Homes and the Sexual Abuse of Residents
Nursing homes are essential for many families with elderly members that have reached an age where they can no longer take care of themselves. Families can often neither afford to provide everyday care for these elderly loved ones nor do they have the time. Nursing homes are intended to provide 24/7 care for these elderly family members in a safe and secure environment. Unfortunately, many of the elderly loved ones that are entrusted into the care of nursing homes end up experiencing abuse at the hands of those that were meant to be ensuring their safety. One of the primary, and most tragic, ways that this occurs is through sexual abuse.
What is Nursing Home Sexual Abuse?
Nursing homes are often sites of sexual abuse against elderly residents. This sexual abuse consists of the nonconsensual sexual assault of residents, rape, and sexual harassments that can all cause significant injuries and damages. Sexual abuse is defined as one person taking advantage of another through the use of forceful sexual behavior.
Nursing home sexual abuse can happen to both male and female residents regardless of their age. Sexual abuse in nursing homes can also occur to people of any race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or level of ableness.
Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse in nursing homes is an issue that everyone including the nursing home should be on the lookout for. When nursing homes miss obvious signs that there is clearly something going on with a resident then they can be considered negligent in a nursing home abuse claim.
A surprising amount of nursing home sexual abuse incidents go completely unreported and many sexual abusers manage to get away with their crimes again and again. This is either because of a sexually abused resident of a nursing home may feel embarrassed about their sexual abuse or they may be in a position where they fear retaliation from their abuser. The most common signs of sexual abuse include:
- Unexplained cuts
- Burns, welts, sores, bruises, and discoloration
- Defensive wounds on arms
- Changes in mood
- Unexplained or abnormal behavior
- Changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Genital pain
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Fear of nursing home staff
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Pain or difficulty sitting or walking
- Unexplained pelvic injuries
- Bruises on inner thighs
- Bleeding or irritation
- Bloody or stained undergarments
- Extreme agitation
- PTSD or suicide attempts
How Does Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Occur?
One may wonder how such abhorrent crimes are able to occur when elderly residents of nursing homes are supposed to be under the watchful eye of staff. Nursing home sexual abuse can be perpetrated by other residents of a nursing home, friends, family members, as well as staff members.
What is often the case is that there is a shortage of staff members and the staff members that are on duty have virtually no oversight so they are able to do as they please. Nursing home staff shortage is a nationwide issue that leads to a great deal of abuse in general.
Many of those that commit the crime of nursing home sexual abuse have specifically chosen to work at nursing homes because they know that they can find frail victims that they will not have as much trouble subduing there. A great deal of these people will have records of past sexual crimes and it is up to nursing home staff employers to screen for this.
Injuries and Damages of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
When someone experiences sexual abuse at a nursing home they are typically in much more fragile condition considering their advanced age. It is because of this that nursing home sexual abuse will have much more severe consequences for elderly residents. Some of the most common injuries that come as a result of nursing home sexual abuse include:
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Broken bones
- Bruised and cut genitalia
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Suicidal tendencies
- The aggravation of pre-existing medical conditions
Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
Those that have experienced sexual abuse while they were in the care of a nursing home have the right to seek compensation for the damages they suffered from those that contributed negligence that helped the crime to occur.
A nursing home sexual abuse claim works to hold people responsible for such abuse accountable by proving their negligence and seeking a fair settlement for a plaintiff that is suffering damages like medical bills, therapy bills, the cost of moving to a new facility, etc. However, those wishing to undertake such a process should never do so on their own.
Consider Eberst Law as Your Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Attorney
If one of your loved ones has suffered while under the care of a Florida nursing home, consider speaking to Eberst Law about the legal options available to you when it comes to holding those accountable for their negligent actions. Nursing home abuse cases come with a level of sensitivity that the lawyers of Eberst law are all too familiar with. These cases can cause significant damage to elderly loved ones that trusted these facilities to ensure that they would be taken care of to the best of their ability.
The attorneys of Eberst Law fight aggressively for those we represent that have suffered abuse at the hands of nursing homes. Your case will have our personal attention and communication between you and our lawyers is key in ensuring that you are taken care of in such a difficult time. While you focus on personal affairs, the Eberst Law team will be investigating, negotiating, and fighting on your behalf to ensure you get the compensation you need through a nursing home abuse lawsuit. To schedule a consultation with Eberst Law you can either fill out an online contact form or call our office at 772-225-4900.
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