People send their parents to nursing homes with a hope that they would receive the care their parents deserve. However, nursing home abuse is a topic that needs to be considered. Since most of the victims are old and unable to speak, they get robbed of their remaining memories.
Instead of being cared for at a nursing home, they are sexually assaulted. Only the unthinkable is taking place at such facilities throughout the United States. Rape and sexual abuse is what vulnerable seniors are subject to in promise of being taken care of.
Although it is impossible to determine the exact number of victims, federal data reveals that nursing home abuse is more widespread than you think. The worst part of it all is that the government officials and nursing home administrators who are responsible for handling such matters are doing close to nothing to put an end to it.
Pure or willful negligence is the main cause of the problem. There are instances where the nursing home administrators put in the effort to protect the victims who have trouble remembering what happened or identifying the abusers.
Victims and their families are failed on a regular basis. Nursing homes are slow to report or even investigate the allegations due to a reluctance to believe or accept the accusations. There are some that hide such matters.
As for the police, they have dismissed potential victims because of their poor memory. Since the bar for substantiating abuse is so high, state regulators have failed to recognize patterns and take action against caregivers. Thus, systematic failure is to blame for the problem.
Victims are unable to seek the justice that they deserve. In fact, perpetrators get away with their crimes without a care in the world and continue to abuse elderly folks. It is even harder for the elderly that have special needs or suffer from a mental degenerative disease.
There have been various stories covered by major news outlets such as CNN that have highlighted just how vulnerable people at a nursing home can be. Caretakers are exploiting their time with the elderly and have raped or abused them when there is no one to notice.
What Does the Law Say?
According to the law, caregivers who plead guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a helpless or mentally impaired victim would be sentenced to around eight years in prison or more. However, their sentencing is just not enough as the perpetrators have betrayed public trust and abused the sick and the elderly. A violation of position of authority or a position of trust has severe ramifications.
The truth is that predators find elderly patients to be an easy prey. Allegations are often overlooked and no action is taken. Officials are quick to dismiss claims made by residents by stating that they are mere fantasies or hallucinations.
Things That Need to Change
Abuse after abuse shows that nursing home abuse isn’t as rare as you’d think. The following things need to change in order for the endemic to end.
- When nursing homes have a sexual assault claim, they should investigation the issue as a sexual assault and not come to a conclusion.
- Preserve evidence to ensure justice is served.
- Abuse training will go a long way in helping detect observable signed that might have been misinterpreted or missed.
What You Can Do If This Happens To A Parent?
Now, there are plenty of elderly individuals who have the time of their lives at nursing homes. However, it is best to prepare for the unthinkable. Speak with management immediately if a loved one speaks about abuse and seek legal assistance if they do not take any action.