Perhaps no decision is more difficult to make than deciding whether a parent or other elderly loved one needs the professional care of a Maryland nursing home. While all family members would like to be able to care for their aging loved ones in the comfort of their own homes, given the advanced medical needs of many elderly family members, this is not a realistic option.
When it comes time to consider sending a loved one to be treated by a Maryland nursing home, there are many considerations. Most important, of course, is the reputation of the nursing home for providing a safe and respectful environment. While nursing homes as a whole may not enjoy a good reputation for the level of care they provide to residents, there are professional and caring Maryland nursing homes, so families should not accept any level of abuse or neglect, and they should report instances of either immediately.
Over the past few years, sexual abuse among nursing home residents has seen a dramatic increase, not just between staff members and residents, but between the residents themselves. According to a recent news report, it may be that the instances of abuse are not necessarily more frequent than they used to be but that family members and authorities have become more adept at spotting the abuse. In part, this is due to the increase of cameras in nursing homes.
Absent video evidence, sexual abuse in nursing homes is notoriously difficult to spot. Part of the reason why this is the case is because there are so many types of sexual abuse, only some of which are accompanied by physical symptoms. For example, if a fellow resident is routinely exposing himself to another resident or is displaying pornographic material to them, there may be no sign such abuse is occurring. When physical symptoms of abuse are present, they are too often explained away as an unrelated medical issue.
Additionally, perpetrators of nursing home sexual abuse often select victims who are not likely to disclose the fact that they are being abused or have no one to whom to report the abuse. Regardless, nursing home management is responsible to provide a safe environment free from all types of abuse, including sexual abuse among residents. Even when the abuse does not involve a nursing home employee, management is still responsible to stop the abuse and prevent it from occurring in the future.
Is Your Loved One at Risk?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that they have been a victim of sexual abuse, you should consult with one of the dedicated Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys at the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we have decades of experience standing up for the rights of elderly nursing home residents and their families in a wide range of nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits. Call 410-654-3600 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated attorney who can explain what your rights are and how you can go about enforcing them.
More Blog Posts:
Elder Abuse in Maryland Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 21, 2017.
Nursing Home Settles Federal Lawsuit Stemming from the Inadequate Care Provided to Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 7, 2017.