Sexual abuse is just one type of abuse that happens in nursing homes and assisted living centers, and it’s discouraging to think about how often it happens. In fact, one of the biggest issues with this epidemic of abuse is that we don’t know how many people suffer on a daily, weekly or yearly basis. As experts have put it after studying the issue, it’s simply “impossible to know just how many victims are out there.”
Why don’t we know? The elderly are often chosen by the perpetrators specifically for their own vulnerability. For instance, they may:
- Not be able to remember what is happening to them.
- Have mental disorders that mean they don’t even really understand what is going on.
- Have mental or physical disorders that make it impossible to speak.
As a result, this abuse happens more than most people can imagine. The elderly cannot or do not speak up, and so it goes on under the radar. The perpetrators do not get caught. Many of them are staff members and caregivers, but they carry on with the abuse with no ramifications.
Of course, there are drastic ramifications for those suffering from the abuse. It’s a life-changing event at a fragile time in their lives. They need and expect professional care and assistance, as do their families. Instead, they suffer abuse in silence.
Are you worried that this may be happening to your loved one in a nursing home in California? If so, it is important to understand what signs to look for and what legal options you have.