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It is natural to worry about the health and safety of elderly family members who have been placed in a nursing home. However, no one should have to consider that their loved one is being sexually abused by a staff member or another patient. These incidents are heinous and must be stopped immediately. If a nursing facility fails to address this abuse or in some way tries to cover it up, a Chardon nursing home sexual abuse lawyer could help you file a lawsuit against them.

A trustworthy nursing home abuse attorney could help gather evidence and make a claim for damages to provide some measure of relief for your family.

How is Sexual Abuse Defined?

Any kind of sexual contact or activity that is beyond what would be appropriate within a physician-patient or nurse-patient relationship would constitute sexual abuse in Chardon. For certain caregivers whose job is to bathe residents or assist in bathroom duties, some level of physical contact is going to be required. Beyond those specifically defined duties, any unjustified or unwanted contact in sensitive areas could be grounds for a sexual abuse claim.

Patients are also at risk of sexual contact if they are left alone with other patients, without caregiver supervision. A resident might develop some form of hyper-sexualization without the ability to control their behavior. Further, those who are unable to move or communicate on their own will be the most vulnerable since they cannot move away or call for help.

Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse

Some warning signs that sexual abuse might be occurring are the sudden onset of depression, lack of communication, bruising, or the resident’s desire not to leave their private room. If it is coming from one particular person, they may become fearful or act out if that person is present.

What if the Abuse Comes from Other Residents?

The nursing home is supposed to be the custodian of their residents and they have an obligation to prevent sexual abuse from other residents. They are the ones who have the ability to prevent it and must take reasonable steps to do so.

If a facility is made aware that a particular patient poses a risk to others, they must make all reasonable precautions with that person. That could include having a staff member present with them at nearly all times, putting them in a secure or locked unit, or having more staff members around them to prevent inappropriate behavior. They should also ensure the resident takes all of their prescribed medications.

Not all facilities are equipped or trained to handle all kinds of patients. A patient who is prone to physical or sexual violence should be in a nursing home that is properly set up to meet their needs and keep others safe. If the staff fails to meet those needs or is preventing them from living in a place that is equipped to meet those needs, a Chardon nursing home sexual abuse lawyer could potentially hold them liable for any harm that occurred.

Best Hiring Practices for Nursing Homes

Nursing home facilities have a clear and serious obligation to do full background checks on the people who they plan to hire. If there are incidents of abuse in that applicant’s past, they should not be hired.

In addition, they should be apprised of the potential misbehaviors of the residents they take in and construct an environment that keeps all patients and staff members safe. If the facility fails to provide this duty of care, and someone is injured or traumatized as a result, any or all members of the staff could be held liable for damages. A seasoned attorney could check to see if due diligence was used in the hiring process and if management was careless in its practices.

Pursue Justice with a Chardon Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Attorney

If one of your family members has been the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home, they may be able to file a claim for damages. In addition to economic and non-economic damages, the facility may be liable for punitive damages if they knew of the abuse and did nothing or tried to cover it up.

Any sexual abuse that occurs needs to be stopped immediately. That is why it is critical to contact a Chardon nursing home sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Place a call now to Tittle & Perlmuter for a free consultation and to learn more about your options.

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