Sexual abuse in a nursing home can present itself in a variety of different ways. This includes improper touching or any improper behavior when residents are being cleaned that has been reported by the resident or another one of the nursing staff or residents. Sexual abuse can also be actual sexual intercourse that is forced upon an unwilling resident by another resident, someone else’s guest, or someone on staff.
If your loved one has suffered from sexual abuse in their nursing home facility, it is pertinent that you contact a Tampa nursing home sex abuse lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will be able to gather all necessary evidence to mount a strong case against the individual accused.
One common example of sexual abuse in a nursing home is when one of the staff members improperly touches a resident for no medical reason, but rather for sexual purposes. Or, sometimes one resident will force him or herself sexually on another resident. Normally, there are staff members put in place to prevent this from occurring. However, if sexual abuse still occurs, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a Tampa nursing home sex abuse lawyer to seek proper justice for their loved one.
One particular warning sign of sexual abuse is that the resident may become shy or fearful when being touched in their private areas. Many times, residents will complain of pain, even though there is no bruising or swelling to be seen. Another warning sign is if the resident no longer uses the bathroom, and resorts to soiling their clothing or bed because they do not want anybody to touch them in that area or help them go to the bathroom anymore.
The patients most vulnerable to abuse in nursing homes are those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or some kind of mental incapacity that affects their ability to understand what is going on around them or vocalize the problem with any residents or family members that may visit. Additionally, some patients that are bedridden or weaker physically are easier targets of sexual abuse because of their inability to fight off the pressure.
If the sexual abuse is coming from other residents, this should still be reported to the facility and a lawyer should still be contacted. One of the duties of a nursing home is to provide a safe environment for the residents and prevent this type of abuse from occurring. There should be procedures in place, including alarms, locked doors, security guards on staff, and/or other mechanisms to prevent sexual abuse between residents.
Just because a resident commits the sexual abuse, not a staff member, does not mean that the nursing home itself is not liable in some parts of this action. A Tampa nursing home sexual abuse attorney will be able to charge the case properly depending on the circumstances of the case.
Reporting the Act
If you believe someone is being sexually abused in a nursing home, you should report it to the nursing home facility as soon as possible, as well as call the police to report the crime. You should also call a nursing home sex abuse attorney in Tampa to ensure that the person’s rights are protected throughout the process and make sure that an individual is kept up to date on everything that is going on with the criminal and/or Department of Health investigation. If the abused person lacks counsel, they are not going to know exactly what is happening throughout the investigation, and the facility may try to downplay it to protect their liability.