Elder Sexual Abuse

Is sexual abuse of an elderly individual considered elder abuse?

In an elder care setting, sexual abuse is defined as non-consensual, intimate contact or exposure or any similar activity (including unwanted sexual comments) when a resident or patient is incapable of giving consent. Unfortunately, elderly individuals are easy targets for sexual predators, who are most often staff, other residents or visitors to a skilled nursing facility. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse, elder sexual abuse accounts for 0.8% of elder abuse reports.

Without their consent, sexual contact with an elder is abuse. Here are some general examples of what constitutes elder sexual abuse:

  • Unwanted fondling, touching or kissing
  • Coerced nudity
  • Sexual battery or assault (including attempted rape or sodomy)
  • Spying on an elderly person in the bathroom or bedroom
  • Sexually suggestive or “dirty” jokes or stories told to or in front of an elderly person

Confronting and dealing with sexual abuse where the victim is mentally or physically impaired is complex. Any skilled nursing facility that is aware of the propensity of a particular person for this type of behavior has a legal duty to residents to monitor him or her closely when at the facility and to safeguard residents from harmful and unlawful behavior.

Elder abuse of a sexual nature is improper and is also criminally punishable. Signs of sexual elder abuse might not be as apparent to family, staff, and others as signs of other forms of elder abuse. If you are apprised that an incident of elder sexual abuse has occurred, you should report it immediately to the skilled nursing facility administrator, licensing agency, and other appropriate authorities so that it can be dealt with and  proper steps can be taken to prevent reoccurrence.

What Our Elder Abuse Law Firm Can Do for You

When you retain the services of our dedicated elder abuse law firm, you gain access to extensive knowledge, resources, and skill in elder abuse and neglect. We assist clients in obtaining compensation for the damages caused negligent caregivers, long-term care facilities, and nursing homes. Nursing home elder sexual abuse and neglect often results in catastrophic injury and even death and that it is why it is extremely urgent that you seek legal representation if you suspect elder sexual abuse.

For help filing actions against perpetrators of elder sexual abuse, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP at (408) 956-6949 or contact us online.

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