Nursing home staff should care for residents and prevent all harm. However, mistreatment does occur. One of the most heinous examples of wrongful treatment in these facilities includes nursing home sexual abuse. Victims of sexual abuse should immediately contact a nursing home sexual abuse lawyer.
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Residents in nursing homes are often seen as easy targets. An experienced attorney who has in-depth knowledge of many aspects of Colorado law can help protect these victims. Nursing Home Justice doesn’t back down from taking on large nursing home facilities and their insurance companies.
Mac Hester, the founding attorney of Nursing Home Justice, has over 35 years of legal experience and is dedicated to helping victims recover compensation for their losses. He treats every client with the dignity and respect they deserve and will guide you on the path to recovery.
Sexual abuse of the elderly in a nursing home includes unwanted or non-consensual physical or sexual contact with a resident. This includes sexual contact with patients who cannot give consent due to their confusion, medical condition, or mental incapacity.
Sexual abuse cases in nursing homes may include nursing home sexual assault, rape, or any other type of unwanted touching. No matter how insignificant or minor the touching is, nursing home sexual abuse is illegal.
There are many different forms of sexual abuse that a nursing home resident may experience. Some common types of nursing home sexual abuse include:
Unwanted touching occurs when nursing home staff or other residents touch a victim in an unwanted intimate manner. Intimate touching does not have to involve genitalia but may be for the sexual benefit or arousal of the offender.
Sexual assault and rape involves any forced or non-consensual act of sexual penetration — this also includes the use of any objects.
Signs of sexual assault in a nursing home resident may include fear of staff members, bruising or pain of the genitals, or sudden unexplained avoidance of people and social situations. The offender, facility, and multiple other parties may be sued for rape or sexual assault.
Molestation is a term typically used for child sex crimes; however, by common definition, it can apply to the sexual abuse of any person. This may include many different acts, such as touching of private parts, inducement of sexual acts (with or without penetration), and exposure of genitalia.
A nursing home resident who is forced to expose themselves for explicit photography is the victim of sexual abuse. Whether the pictures are shared or held privately by the offender, the action of taking such images is illegal.
Nursing home residents often require help with their clothing. This should be done in a professional manner as quickly and respectfully as possible. If a resident is forced to remain nude unnecessarily, this may constitute patient abuse.
Physical, mental, and emotional injuries occur due to nursing home sexual assault. These consequences of mistreatment are long-lasting and can completely change the lives of victims and their families.
Some examples of injuries include, but are not limited to:
Any nursing home resident is at risk for maltreatment from staff and even other residents. However, there are some residents more commonly sexually abused.
Women of advanced years are some of the most common victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes — with the perpetrator often being one of their caregivers. These abused residents are likely to experience untimely deaths at alarming rates if these incidents go unreported.
However, there are sometimes witnesses to these acts of abuse, and their testimony could go a long way in holding liable parties accountable for their actions.
Cases of nursing home sexual abuse may involve multiple liable parties. While an individual staff member or even a resident may be the offender, they are not the only ones who may be held accountable. You need to work with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to determine everyone responsible.
Some parties that could be held responsible include:
When a nursing home resident is being sexually abused, there are typical signs that can be identified. Family and loved ones should constantly be on the lookout to protect patients.
Some signs of sexual abuse include:
If you suspect a nursing home resident is being sexually abused, you should take several actions right away.
If you know about a sexual abuse situation in a nursing home facility, you should file a report with management or a patient representative. Give them as many details as possible. They must be aware of the situation to make it stop.
If the victim of sexual abuse is in immediate danger or has severe injuries, you should call 911 right away. Report what you believe has happened and any other information you have. The police will conduct an investigation to determine if a crime has occurred. When you call the emergency number, you should also request an ambulance for the victim so they can get medical treatment.
In Colorado, you can report nursing home abuse to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment or your local Adult Protective Services office.
If your loved one has been victimized, you need to get them out of the nursing home where they are being abused. You should not leave them in a situation where they can suffer further trauma.
As soon as you’re able, you should contact an attorney who can begin collecting information that will support your case. It can be difficult to obtain evidence from the nursing home that will be essential in proving negligence.
When you report nursing home sexual abuse, there will be two stages of the investigation process – a criminal investigation and the civil discovery process.
The police will complete a report and may arrest the person who is suspected of abusing the resident. A typical criminal investigation involves state-employed officers who specialize in finding forensic evidence and taking statements from witnesses.
They have a lot of power to obtain information quickly with a warrant. However, they are looking for criminal wrongdoing. They are not looking for negligence, which is essential in a civil case.
A civil personal injury case can be brought against the perpetrator, nursing home, and others for negligence. Their breach of duty to the resident can make them liable for damages. When a nursing home sexual abuse civil lawsuit is filed, your attorney will engage in the discovery process.
Discovery involves obtaining company records, deposing witnesses, and getting information from all parties involved. This process can take much longer than a criminal investigation.
Every case is unique and needs special attention. Nursing Home Justice does not take on every case that comes through the doors. We select those that we believe in and know we can fight to win. Nursing home abuse attorney Mac Hester can help you recover by: