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Is sexual assault a growing problem in nursing homes?

On Behalf of | Jan 31, 2019 | nursing home abuse and neglect

Every year, many Georgia residents are placed in nursing homes. The expectation is that seniors will live in a safe environment, where they have immediate access to proper medical attention and can enjoy the company of others their own age. However, one recent case of a woman giving birth, while being in a coma for 10 years, has caused the public to consider the prevalence of sexual assault for family members who are being cared for away from home.

Unfortunately, this case is not the first time sexual assault in health care facilities has made headlines and dominated the media. In 2017, CNN reported that since the year 2000, there have been 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse in long-term care facilities. Note, however, that this report includes not just nursing homes, but also assisted living facilities. In any case, the number of reports is astounding. Even worse, agency officials cautioned that there were many cases not captured in that figure. The 16,000 cases only represented those that involved the intervention of the state long-term care ombudsmen.

From here, the reports only become more discouraging. For instance, 226 nursing homes were cited for failure to protect patients and residents from sexual abuse incidents that were proven between 2010 and 2015. Only 60 percent of these cases ended in fines and only 16 of the facilities lost government funding. When CNN widened its net, it found that over 1,000 nursing homes were cited between 2013 and 2016. What is even more disturbing is that almost 100 of these nursing homes received multiple citations during that time.

The good news is, there are nursing home facilities that do provide professional health care, while preserving ethical standards. The bad news is, sometimes finding them may require trial and error.

The information contained in this article is provided purely for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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