Experienced Elder Abuse and Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Victim Attorneys
Study Shows Nearly 1/3 or All Nursing Homes in the U.S. Have Received Citations for Patient Abuse
Nursing homes are supposed to provide safe environments for our loved ones. However, that is unfortunately not always the case. Even with stricter federal and state laws requiring nursing homes to take precautions that ensure the safety of their residents, elder abuse continues. In fact, an article in The Gerontologist, an academic journal from Oxford Press, cited a United States House of Representatives Study in 2000 that revealed that more than 30% of nursing homes in the United States had received abuse citations that had the potential to cause more than minimal harm to patients. Subsequent reports discussed in the article indicated that the problem has remained prevalent.
One of the most shocking forms of elder abuse is sexual abuse, and its prevalence in nursing homes is often underestimated. Sexual abuse includes rape, molestation, or any sexual contact with a person that is involuntary or is committed on an individual that lacks the mental capacity to consent to such contact. This type of abuse can occur at the hands of nursing home staff, other nursing home residents, family members, and even a spouse.
What are Some Signs that Sexual Abuse Could be Occurring?
Sexual abuse in nursing home often goes unreported because individuals are not aware of potential warning signs. As often happens with victims of sexual abuse, a victim may be reluctant to come forward and confess that sexual abuse has been occurring. In other situations, a victim of sexual abuse may not be able to adequately express that sexual abuse has occurred. While most victims of elder sexual abuse tend to be women, the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (“NCPEA”) notes that men are also victims of elder sexual abuse. NCPEA lists the following as some of the potential warning signs that sexual abuse is occurring:
- Genital or anal pain, irritation, or bleeding;
- Difficulty walking or sitting;
- Bruises on external genitalia or inner thighs;
- Torn, stained, or bloody underclothes;
- Sexually transmitted disease;
- Inappropriate, unusual, or aggressive sexual behavior; and
- Generally being withdrawn.
It is important that these warning signs be discovered as soon as possible and that nursing home staff is properly trained to recognize these potential warning signs that can often be passed over as they may potentially seem to be related to other conditions.
When Might a Nursing Home be Liable for Sexual Abuse?
If a nursing home has not complied with applicable laws or made due diligence to ensure that staff are qualified and meet requirements for working in a nursing home, they could be liable for sexual abuse that occurs at the hands of those staff members. Additionally, Massachusetts law makes anyone employed at a nursing home a mandated reporter if they suspect or know of abuse. Failure to do so could also make a nursing home liable. In Massachusetts, the Quality of Care Act allows a victim to seek monetary compensation for nursing home actions that violate laws pertaining to patient rights and care.
Generally, if you have suspicions that a loved one is dealing with sexual abuse in a nursing home or if such abuse has come to light, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible so that he or she can work with you to conduct an investigation to address your concerns and determine whether or not a nursing home might be liable.
Did your loved one suffer harm as a result of sexual abuse or nursing home neglect? Our lawyers can help you hold negligent or abusive caregivers accountable for their actions.
If your loved one has experienced sexual abuse at a Massachusetts nursing home, talk to a lawyer for free. We offer an initial free legla consultation so that you can find out more information about whether or not a nursing home could be liable in your circumstances. It’s easy, confidential and there is no obligation and no pressure.
It is important to work with a personal injury attorney to investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s accident or wrongful death in order to determine if the nursing home has any liability. To learn more about legal actions in cases involving nursing home neglect or abuse, contact our law offices today for a FREE legal consultation, where you can find out more information about whether or not the nursing home facility might be liable for compensation. Our experienced team of personal injury lawyers can help evaluate the circumstances of an injury to help you determine if compensation might be available to you.
If your loved one has experienced a UTI or related complication while residing in a nursing home, a thorough investigation may help determine whether or not the nursing home is liable. Contact our personal injury lawyers to schedule your FREE consultation where you can learn more about finding out if a nursing home might be liable for providing compensation due to a UTI.
We offer a free, no-obligation legal consultation to help you understand your rights and the value of your case. Our personal injury law firm takes cases involving elder abuse and neglect. We offer legal service to clients in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Hampshire.
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