How to Identify Signs of Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home

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Sexual abuse in nursing homes can be one of the more challenging types of abuse to determine. Often, those who are victims hide this information due to embarrassment or because they are afraid of retaliation. Nevertheless, family members and others who notice the signs of sexual abuse in a nursing home should take action, including alerting the police and filing a claim. Call a Louisville nursing home abuse lawyer from Gray & White Law today.

Signs of Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home Setting

Elderly people can suffer sexual abuse and, in some ways, can become easy victims of this because they are unable or unwilling to confide in the family about what is occurring or what happened. Some of the most common signs that family members may need to consider, then, beyond an outright statement of what occurred include:

  • Physical indications of abuse, such as bleeding or injury to the geniality of the resident
  • Bruising on the thighs or breasts
  • Onset of a sexually transmitted disease or illness
  • Changes in sexual behavior, including signs of sexual promiscuity or odd behavior
  • Trouble walking or sitting for long periods of time
  • Suggestive behaviors or changes in views on sexual actions and interactions
  • Statements about being afraid of certain people

In situations where the victim does report the abuse, it should be taken seriously immediately. That should involve getting medical care and reporting the incident to the police. Reporting the incident to just the staff is not enough to protect your family member from what could be occurring.

Do Not Overlook Emotional and Mental Health Changes

When nursing home abuse occurs, including sexual abuse, it can lead to changes in the emotional and mental health of the individual. They may become withdrawn or even fearful. They may beg to leave, or they may become distraught when certain people are present in the area. Other times, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression can also become obvious.

These situations make it difficult to pinpoint the type of abuse occurring since other forms could also be associated with this type of behavior change. Yet, by recognizing – and not brushing off – these changes, it may be possible to get the individual to open up and speak about what is occurring. If they do not feel comfortable doing so with their family member (and this is a reality quite often), seek out the help of a neutral third party, such as a counselor who visits from outside of the treatment center or nursing home.

Note, too, that many people who are sexually abused could be abused in other manners as well. As a result, seeking out comprehensive medical treatment and emotional support could be critical in protecting a person’s overall quality of life and mental health.

Even those who are not sure if sexual abuse is occurring should seek help from a professional. If you feel your family member is at risk, reach out to someone outside of the nursing home for help, contact the police, or contact a Lousiville personal injury lawyer who can facilitate support.