How prevalent is sexual abuse at nursing homes?

When you make the difficult decision to place your loved one in an Alabama nursing home or continuing care facility, you will probably choose a residence where you believe he or she will receive adequate care and remain free from any form of abuse or neglect. Regrettably, however, this is not always the case, with McClatchy DC noting that sexual abuse at American nursing homes is largely kept under wraps, making it hard to determine just how common it truly is.

Part of the issue in assessing the prevalence of sexual abuse at nursing homes lies in the fact that reporting systems used to track sexual abuse complaints do not typically separate claims of sexual abuse from other forms of abuse your senior or disabled loved one may experience. However, one federal program found that there were almost three reports of sexual abuse at long-term care centers made each day for the last 20 years, amounting to more than 20,000 allegations of sexual abuse at such facilities during that same period.

There are a number of possible explanations as to why your loved one may be at risk, and why sexual abuse allegations continue to plague American nursing homes and care facilities. In addition to a lack of proper tracking of sexual abuse complaints, some facility owners attempt to hide allegations of abuse so not to adversely affect business. Additionally, some residents fear others will not believe them if they make sexual abuse allegations public, and friends and family members who are alerted to the abuse are sometimes also hesitant to call attention to the matter.

This information about the prevalence of sexual abuse at long-term care facilities is informative in nature, but please do not consider it a replacement for legal advice. 

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