Understanding Sexual Abuse of the Elderly

Nursing Home Neglect - Prevention, Signs & Types of Negligence

Sexual abuse is something that we don’t want to think about, but it can happen in nursing homes. This is a very serious type of abuse. In this article, I will discuss sexual abuse in nursing homes, the effects of it, types of it, and how we can help. If you think your elderly loved one may be experiencing sexual abuse in a nursing home, keep reading to learn more.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual contact made to an individual.

Victims of Seuxal Abuse

Victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes often are:

  • Older
  • Have dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Are mentally incapable to give consent
  • Are physically disabled

Types and Examples of Sexual Abuse

This list is just a few types and examples of sexual abuse that can occur in a nursing home.

  • Unwanted touching
  • Sexual assault and battery
  • Forced and unexplained nudity
  • Sexual photography
  • Forcing an elderly person to watch sexual conduct

Signs of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is often hard to detect because an individual may not want to come forward about it, may not remember it, or may have difficulty communicating. Here are some signs and effects of sexual abuse that can help you detect if your loved one is experiencing it.

Physical Signs

  • Unexplained bruises
  • Unexplained bleeding from the genital area
  • STDs or STIs
  • Torn or stained underwear
  • Pain while urinating
  • Pain when walking or sitting

Emotional signs

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Anger
  • Withdrawing from others

How To Talk To Your Loved Ones

Confronting a loved one about sexual abuse can be difficult, especially since typical targets of sexual abuse may have trouble communicating or will not remember the incident. Make sure you are patient and listen to what they are saying. You should do everything possible to support them and help them get to the bottom of things. If you want to discuss abuse with your loved ones but are unsure how, here are some questions you can ask:

  • Do you feel safe in this facility?
  • Are you happy in this facility?
  • Do you feel like the staff takes good care of you?
  • What is your favorite part of living here?
  • What is your least favorite part?
  • Do you socialize often with other residents?
  • Are you sleeping well?

Getting Help

If you suspect your loved one may be experiencing sexual abuse in a nursing home, please call us. We offer free consultations and can provide you with more information on how to handle the incident. You can call us at 203-208-3065.

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