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It’s hard to imagine an elderly loved one being the victim of sexual abuse, but unfortunately, it happens. Sexual abuse includes unwanted sexual acts, forced nudity, etc. Sexual abuse in long term care facilities can be by predator staff members or unsupervised residents co-habiting the facility. Sexual abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is often unreported since the victims are usually both physically and mentally disabled and unable to communicate what occurred. Believe it or not, these facilities often defend claims of sexual abuse by claiming these vulnerable residents don’t suffer from the abuse because the victims don’t have the mental capacity to suffer! Of course, that is ludicrous, as well as offensive.
If you suspect your loved one is a victim of sexual abuse, demand an investigation by reporting the suspected sexual abuse to the Florida Department of Children & Families and the Agency For Health Care Administration, as well as local law enforcement authorities. Don’t take a chance. Here are some tips to follow to assure that your loved one is protected while in a nursing home of assisted living facility:
- Ask questions and listen to what your loved one tells you; don’t discount comments that seem unusual like statements about sex.
- Physically check your loved one for unexplained bruising, especially around breasts, thighs, and genitals.
- Watch for behavioral and personality changes such as being fearful or withdrawn.