Thursday, September 23, 2021

Signs of Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home

Sexual abuse against the elderly seems unfathomable to many people, but the sad reality is that this exists all across the country. Elderly people are more defenseless and can be preyed upon by nursing home staff members.

Most assaults occur during nighttime hours and many go unreported. There can also be difficulty when reporting these instances, since some elderly patients may have issues with cognitive impairment. Still, it is important to look out for the following warning signs of sexual abuse in a nursing home.

Fear and anxiety

Residents who are being abused sexual can display different behaviors. For example, some victims may become withdrawn and depressed while others could become paranoid. This could also include anxiety in the presence of others and is a tell-tale sign something is amiss.

Health issues

A sudden infection or sexually transmitted disease is a strong warning sign of sexual abuse. Sudden injuries that are coupled with random or vague explanations are also warning signs as health issues that are a result of sexual abuse can present themselves in a variety of forms.

Visible signs

Bruises, welts and scratches that are without explanation are one of the most obvious ways to identify sexual abuse. This also applies to their clothing as rips and tears should be investigated. And any presence of blood should always warrant an inquiry into the cause as it may be evidence of nursing home injuries.

Behavioral changes

Seniors who suddenly stop participating in weekly events do not do so without reason. In many instances, residents relish these kinds of events. It is also a good idea to look for a loss of appetite in otherwise healthy residents. Unexplained changes in behavior may be an attempt to conceal a more serious problem.

Potential abusers

While the profile of sexual abusers does not have to fit into one classification, there are some common characteristics. It is common for perpetrators to be socially withdrawn, possess anger issues or have a criminal history. Certain staff members may fit that profile.

Deterioration of health

Sexual abuse can lead to malnutrition, dehydration as well as the onset of mental illness. Some victims may also start to let their hygiene quickly deteriorate. A sudden decrease should be reviewed by the nursing home staff and a failure to do so can be construed as a form of neglect.

If you suspect nursing home sexual abuse in Columbia, SC, then it’s time to contact Attorneys Lee Eadon Isgett Popwell and Owens. Let us help bring justice to your loved one.