Even the Elderly Can Be Victims of Sexual Abuse


It’s the last thing that you may consider as you relocate your loved one to a nursing home or other elder care facility – sexual abuse.

Yet, unwanted acts that are sexual in nature are part of the overall mistreatment of the elderly. Often, because of dementia or mental illness, the individual cannot voice their disapproval of the action or voice consent. They also may not be able to report the abuse.

Signs of Sexual Abuse of the Elderly

Watch for any of these physical or behavioral signs of sexual assault:

  • Problems sitting or walking
  • Pelvic injury
  • Developing an STD (sexually transmitted disease)
  • Torn or stained underwear
  • Bruising or bleeding
  • Genital pain
  • Panic attacks or agitation
  • Signs of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Emotional or social withdrawal
  • Suicide attempts
  • Engaging in unusual, inappropriate or aggressive sexual activities

If you perceive any of these signs or behaviors, your loved one may be the victim of sexual abuse. 

Perpetrators of these shocking acts are not found only in nursing homes, but can also include live-in nursing aids, other care providers and even friends and family members who care for an elderly person. 

Because they are unable to vocalize their experiences, or because of fear of retaliation by their assailant, elderly victims of sexual abuse are unable or unwilling to report the assault. In fact, only about 30% of elderly victims of abuse over age 65 actually report an incident to the authorities.

What To Do If You Suspect Elder Sexual Abuse

Family members or nursing home staff should report any suspected elder sexual abuse incident to the head of the nursing home, to the police and/or to Adult Protective Service for investigation.

If sexual abuse is strongly suspected, the resident will be moved to another facility or environment and will receive appropriate counseling and medication.

Please let us help if you suspect that your loved one has suffered from sexual abuse in a nursing home or other facility, or at home by a caregiver. Don’t let this vulnerable population be abused in a setting which should provide professional, caring and trustworthy care.

Let Us Know If A Family Member Has Been a Victim of Sexual Assault

If you or a family member has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment of any kind or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultationAttorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Roseland, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.