Description of Sexual Abuse of an Elder or Disabled Adult
Sexual abuse of an elder is any physical contact with an elder without his or her consent, including elder touching, sexual assault, rape, coerced nudity and sexually explicit photographing. Because many elders residing in nursing homes cannot effectively communicate or may be ashamed or fearful of retaliation for reporting an instance of sexual abuse, it is important to be on guard for warnings signs of abuse. Physical signs include bruises around the breasts or genitals, sexually transmitted diseases or genital infections, unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding, and torn, stained, or bloody underwear.
What to do if Your Loved One is the Victim of Sexual Assault
If your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse, contact your local Sheriff, police, or county Adult Protective Services (APS). A list of Adult Protective Services’ contact information organized by California counties is provided here.
If the sexual abuse occurred in an assisted living facility or nursing home, make sure to call your respective Long Term Care Ombudsman. You can call their Crisis line at 1-800-231-4024 or visit the California Department of Aging website for a local list of contact information.
Of course, make sure the patient is treated for his or her specific resulting injury.
York Law Firm can also help. We offer unparalleled legal expertise and work diligently to hold all responsible parties accountable and to obtain adequate compensation to which our clients are entitled. Our successful cases are simply too vast list, but you can click here for a small sampling of some of our favorable elder abuse/neglect verdicts and settlements.
What are Common Causes of Sexual Abuse of the Elderly?
There is no one cause of sexual abuse in elders. Sometimes it occurs because older individuals are seen as particularly “easy targets” since they are perceived as less likely to fight back or otherwise resist sexual advances. Older victims often cannot effectively communicate the instance of abuse or are fearful of retaliation for reporting it.
Sexual abuse in nursing homes can be committed by other residents or staff members. Often times, instances of staff members who sexually abuse their patients are due to improper screening for psychological problems or criminal records.
Unfortunately, many homes are more concerned with making a profit than with providing quality health care, so they will regularly hire people who are unqualified for the positions they hold. Or, the facility fails to recognize the warning signs when another patient exhibits sexually inappropriate behavior or aggression to another, thereby failing to protect the other patients.
Contact York Law Firm
If your elderly loved one has been sexually abused, you should speak with an experienced elder abuse attorney as you may be entitled to recovery. Serving Sacramento, Fairfield, Roseville, Elk Grove, Folsom, Fairfield and the Bay Area, Wendy York and her team of legal professionals can help you determine whether you have a valid elder abuse claim. We invite you to contact our practice or fill out a free case evaluation.