One issue you may not think you have to worry about when placing your elderly parent or loved one in a nursing home is sexual abuse. Unbeknownst to you and many people in the Aventura area, seniors are at risk of being sexually assaulted by nursing home staff. You may think your parent is safe in her or his nursing home, but the truth of the matter is, many older people are abused by the very people who are supposed to care for them.
Many of the victims are extremely vulnerable and have memory as well as mobility issues. They are not always able to refuse and fight off their assailants. They may also have trouble identifying their attackers. To reduce the chances of you waking up to a phone call informing you your elderly relative has been sexually assaulted, learn how to identify the signs of elderly sexual abuse.
Visit often to assess your loved one’s health
Do not wait for your parent to invite you to come and see her or him; visit as often as you can so you can familiarize yourself with the staff and residents. Frequent visits also allow you to keep track of your loved one’s health and physical and mental conditions. If you notice your elderly relative:
- Seems agitated
- Has sudden bruising
- Has an STD
- Has more trouble walking than usual
- Seems withdrawn emotionally and physically
- Has sustained injuries to the pelvic, legs and thigh areas
The above factors are a non-inclusive list of signs your relative may have experienced sexual abuse. It is important for you to use your best judgment and follow your gut feeling in addition to any facts you may have. Do not dismiss your loved one’s reaction to anyone or claims of abuse. If you notice your mother or father seems fearful or angry when a certain staff member comes around, or a certain employee seems flirtatious or touches your parent unnecessarily, find out why.
If you suspect someone has or is currently sexually abusing your elderly family member, get help right away. Inform the facility administrator and police of your concerns. You may want to speak to an attorney for more guidance on the matter.