Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

According to a report on , one Missouri nursing home admits sex offenders but does not inform the families of the other elderly residents who reside there. There are currently 18 registered sex offenders that live at the nursing home, with sex offenses ranging from child molestation to rape. The owner notes that elderly residents are separated from the sex offenders and that staff is also trained on how to deal with those patients who have psychiatric issues and therefore management does not view this as a security threat. According to the report, there is no legal responsibility of the nursing home management to inform other residents and their families about the background of their residents, so the nursing home does not feel the need to disclose the information.

Sexual abuse in nursing homes is an important issue to address in Illinois nursing homes. Family members want to feel secure when placing a loved one in a nursing home. Elderly nursing home residents are targets of sexual predators because they are often weak and defenseless. They might have dementia or might not be able to speak to report the assault. All nursing home residents are protected from abuse and neglect under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and homes have a duty to protect residents from predators. Many times, cases of sexual abuse fall at the hands of other residents, who are able to bypass security measures. In other instances, staff members are to blame. Nursing homes must operate with sufficient staff in order to properly monitor sexual offenders and elderly residents. Nursing homes must also investigate and report sexual abuse when it occurs. When a nursing home fails to protect the residents under its care and they are injured or killed, ownership and staff must be held responsible for their negligence. To learn more about the Illinois laws that protect nursing home residents from abuse and neglect, follow the link.

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