Deciding to move a loved one to a nursing home is a difficult choice. However, it might be the only option when a family member can no longer take care of themselves. Even with ample research, finding the best nursing home can be challenging. Discovering that your family member is the victim of abuse or neglect can be devastating, especially when it turns out to be nursing home sexual abuse.
If you suspect abuse or neglect, please get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer at Silva Injury Law. Protecting your family members is essential. You should familiarize yourself with potential warning signs of sexual abuse and know what steps to take when you suspect something is amiss in the nursing home.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Recognizing potential red flags of sexual abuse is important. You can help protect your loved one from being victimized again, and it may save another resident from experiencing the same type of abuse.
One of the most obvious signs of sexual abuse is physical injuries or bruises in the genital area or around the breasts. Unexplained sexually transmitted infections or genital injuries may also be telltale signs of sexual abuse.
Behavioral changes can also indicate that someone is the victim of sexual abuse. Someone who was previously outgoing and friendly may unexplainably become withdrawn and agitated. They may express fear or distress when specific individuals are present. Refusal to be alone with a particular staff member or visitor may also signify sexual abuse.
Other physical signs of sexual abuse may include difficulty walking or sitting and blood on undergarments or bed linens.
It’s important to note that some red flags can have other explanations or result from different types of abuse, such as physical or emotional abuse. If you suspect your loved one was mistreated in any way, you must report your concerns to the appropriate parties.
What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
If you suspect your loved one is the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home, it is crucial to take action as soon as possible. Here are some steps you can take.
Report the Abuse
Contact the nursing home and report your suspicions. You can also file a grievance with local authorities, such as the police or adult protective services. The California Department of Health (CDPH) regulates nursing homes in California. You can also contact the local ombudsperson’s office.
Keep Track of All Details
Document any observations of injuries or other red flags. Keep notes of your conversations with the nursing home and what led you to suspect sexual abuse. This documentation can be helpful when reporting your concerns to authorities.
Support Your Loved One
Offer emotional support and encouragement to speak up about the abuse. In some cases, victims cannot speak up for themselves. Victims who cannot communicate are often easy targets, which is why abusers go after them.
Pay attention to the victim’s well-being, and be sure to report further concerns. Moving your family member to a new nursing home facility might be necessary.
Unfortunately, elderly sexual abuse in nursing homes is more common than you want to imagine. It’s important to remember that sexual abuse can be a difficult and sensitive topic to bring up. Victims may be hesitant to speak out about their experiences. You can help protect your loved one and prevent further abuse by taking action and reporting your concerns.
Contact a California Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Lawyer
If you suspect your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, reach out to a California nursing home abuse lawyer at Silva Injury Law. We have years of experience assisting families whose loved ones have been victimized by nursing homes. Attorney Michael Joe Silva uses his previous experience as a Merced County assistant district attorney to build a solid civil case against nursing homes that violate patient rights and commit unlawful acts.Nursing home abuse and neglect cases are on the rise throughout the country. Even some of the best-rated nursing homes in California are not immune from instances of abuse or neglect. Taking immediate and swift action is crucial. Please contact Silva Injury Law to schedule an initial consultation. Let us review your case and help you determine the best course of legal action.
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At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.