Supervisors downplay reports of sexual abuse in nursing home

When people hear stories about abuse happening at nursing home facilities in Kentucky, their minds often turn to physical assault or neglect. While these types of incidents do happen, elder abuse can take on many forms including misuse or exploitation of an elderly person's finances, neglectful care when medical attention is required and even sexual abuse. By law, facility supervisors are required to report any incidents of abuse to the appropriate authorities.

A recent series of abusive incidents at one nursing home in Peabody, Massachusetts has left the facility under intense scrutiny after attempts by multiple people to report sexual abuse were either downplayed or ignored entirely. Incidents, where one resident attacked at least four other residents, included multiple situations that were witnessed by other people. When efforts were made to report the inappropriate behavior, supervisors requested that wording is modified to reflect a less severe situation or they would act as though nothing had happened. 

When one victim was visibly upset after having been abused multiple times, an aide witnessed the victim breaking down in uncontrollable sobs when describing what had happened. The supervisor responding to reports of the incident used inappropriate behavior to try and elicit a response from the victim to determine if any unwanted advances had been made. In the wake of investigations, the facility's director of nursing resigned as authorities explored every reported case that had been ignored. It is currently unknown what punishments the nursing home will face. 

If people have been abused in a nursing home setting and have received little help in regards to their claims, an attorney may be able to help them. With their education and experience, they can work to protect victims by compiling information about their claims and presenting it in a manner that shows urgency for a solution to be reached.

Source: Gloucester Daily Times, "Nursing home failed to report abuse," Paul Leighton, Dec. 21, 2018

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