It’s something that you never expect, but sexual abuse can happen in a nursing home. While sexual abuse is not a problem in many homes, there are places where this is a problem. If you suspect that your loved one experienced sexual abuse, read on to learn more about this crime.
What Is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is any unwanted sexual contact or statements from one person to another.
Staff Member-Resident Abuse
A staff member might sexually abuse a resident for a few different reasons. One common reason why sexual abuse occurs in nursing homes is that no one checks up on a resident. If a resident’s family does not visit consistently, a staff member might think that the resident does not have a support system. They think they can get away with abusing the resident because the resident doesn’t have people to help them. Another common reason why a staff member might sexually abuse a nursing home resident is if that resident has memory issues. Memory-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease can cause a resident to forget that abuse occurred. This makes a resident feel that he or she can get away with abuse because it will not get reported.
Remaining a constant in your loved one’s life is important. Monitoring them carefully if a memory issue is present can go a long way in preventing sexual abuse in a nursing home.
In other cases, one resident might sexually harass or abuse another resident. With so many people of the opposite sex living in such close proximity, sexual tension can arise. However, it is the staff’s job to recognize resident–to-resident sexual abuse and stop it. If staff members turn a blind eye to any type of abuse, they are at least partially responsible for it.
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of sexual abuse, there are signs to look for. Consider these 10 signs of sexual abuse and talk to your loved one about the potential of abuse in the nursing home.
1. Any sudden changes in behavior.
3. Bleeding, discharge, or discoloration in the genitals, mouth, or anus.
4. Changes in eating habits.
5. Pain in the genitals, mouth, or anus.
6. Pain in urination/bowel movements.
7. Resisted removal of clothing at appropriate times.
8. Sudden wetting and soiling accidents.
9. Torn, stained, or bloody undergarments.
10. Venereal disease.
While these issues do not always signify sexual abuse, you should look into the situation further if you notice these signs. If you have confirmed that your loved one got sexually abused in a nursing home or by a home health aide, seek help immediately.