Sexual Abuse

If you are a victim or suspect that a family member is a victim of sexual abuse, immediately take all steps to remove the person from the nursing home.

It is difficult to spot and treat sexual abuse in the elderly for a number of reasons. Among them is that older persons may be demented or for many possible reasons, not willing to report it. Further, evidence of sexual abuse could be mistaken for symptoms of other problems the person is having. Finally, the last thing that a family member of elderly person wants to think about is sexual abuse so it is not on many people’s minds. Nevertheless, for those persons who care for an elderly relative or friend, it is necessary to acknowledge the possibility of sexual abuse and be able to recognize signs indicating such abuse. Physical signs include:

Bruising on the body, particularly in areas that would be subject to sexual abuse, such as the thighs;

  • Bleeding from the vaginal or anal area;
  • STDs (sexually transmitted diseases);
  • Difficulty with walking or standing;
  • Pain or itching in the genital area;
  • A worsening of existing illnesses

There can be emotional indicators of sexual abuse even when there is no physical indicator. Emotional indicators of sexual abuse can include:

  • Depression
  • Withdrawn, nervous, frightened or anxious behavior;
  • Unexpected changes in personality;
  • Unusual, or out of context statements about sexually related things;
  • Fear of males (if it’s an elderly female), or specific people or characteristics.

For a victim of sexual abuse, you should ensure that he or she is seen at a hospital and given the appropriate treatment there. You should also contact Ed Fox & Associates, Ltd.

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