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Senior citizens and sexual abuse

When people place a loved one in a New Mexico nursing home, they expect this elderly relative will receive the care he or she needs. Many families do not expect seniors to experience sexual abuse. Unfortunately, this situation is not as uncommon as some people may think. 

While some people may think that senior citizens will be safe from sexual abuse inside a nursing home, this is not always the case. According to Nursing Home Abuse Center, seniors who experience sexual abuse usually live inside nursing homes. One study suggests that 83% of the people who are abused live inside care centers and that this abuse is carried out by caregivers in about 80% of incidents. Most of the seniors who experience sexual abuse are women, although elderly men may also find that a caregiver takes advantage of them. Additionally, senior citizens only report this abuse in about 30% of incidents.

Some people may be surprised to learn how few seniors report sexual abuse. TruthDig.com says that it is important for people to remember that some elderly people may be unable to report this abuse. When some seniors enter nursing homes, they have Alzheimer's disease, dementia or other conditions which may affect their memory. This means that some elderly people may not remember experiencing abuse. Additionally, many family members do not identify signs of abuse because they do not know they need to be on the lookout.  

Sometimes this abuse may occur because nursing homes can experience high rates of staff turnover. This may cause some care facilities to hire anyone with the necessary qualifications without first performing a thorough background check to make sure job applicants do not have any sex offenses on their records. Additionally, people do not always need much training to provide care at a nursing home. This means that many staff members may not recognize the signs of elder sexual abuse. 

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