Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Allegations Are Slow to Be Investigated
Throughout the country and right here in Illinois, an already crippled group of elderly are being raped and sexually abused by the very people responsible for their daily care. It doesn’t matter if they are residents of low-income Medicaid funded homes or patients who pay ridiculous costs for daily living and care support staff, the victims are out there, yet little is being done to prevent or remedy the issue. In addition, for the victims or family members who report the allegations, identifying a perpetrator remains a challenge due to the very nature and mental state of most residents.
According to a CNN report, in Illinois, since 2013:
- 386 allegations of sexual abuse of nursing home residents has been recorded
- 201 reports involved a caretaker (aides, nurses and other staff members
- Only 59 claims were considered substantiated
- A small portion of abuse was allegedly perpetrated by facility visitors (including family members) or unknown abusers
- The majority of victims of substantiated sexual abuse cases are female
In many cases, negligence led by nursing home leadership staff and the state government officials who oversee them are to blame. This lack of care leaves allegations rarely substantiated. State health investigators have been known to be slow on finding the facts behind the claims based on the many victims who also battle cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Nursing home owners have a financial risk involved so would rather hide or quickly dismiss any reported accounts by residents, family, or other staff members. These failures make it especially hard for victims and their families to receive help or justice. Unfortunately, abusers continue to get away with vicious sex crimes.
What Family Members Can Do to Protect Loved Ones from Being Raped and Sexually Abused
Since so many abuse events go undocumented or are just unknown, many family members responsible for their loved one’s care, may feel helpless in really knowing what happens at a nursing home when they are not there. A bit of research and digging may help though. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releases federal inspection data online and reports and penalties are filed under facility name and location. Formal complaints are also listed.
Here’s what to do:
- Visit gov and look up facilities by name or location.
- Review the home’s health inspection rating to see a summary of the most recent inspection by clicking on “View all health inspections” or “View full report.”
- You can also click on “Penalties” to see if an inspection resulted in fines or payment denials.
CMS inspection reports do lump physical, financial and sexual allegations into one category, so our advice is to review closely and recognize the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse.
Sexual Assault Complaints and Allegations Require Legal Help
Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm concentrating in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death litigation throughout Illinois. The lawyers at Levin & Perconti are committed to protecting and vindicating the rights of people who are injured by the negligence of others, including those who have been sexually abused.
Please contact our Chicago firm at (312) 332-2872 or by completing our online case evaluation form. We are not paid unless we recover money for you, so please, contact us now for a free consultation.