Those in Virginia Beach who entrust their loved ones to the care of nursing homes may justified in fearing the potential of abuse occurring. Accusations of nursing home abuse and neglect are not uncommon, yet when they are made, most may assume that involve a staff member abusing a resident. What is often overlooked, therefore, is the potential for abuse occurring between residents. Such situations may be difficult to pinpoint as those being abused may be hesitant to report (and those perpetrating it may lack the mental competency to understand the severity of their actions). Yet when evidence suggests that it did occur, those whose family members or friends experienced it may be justified in taking action. 

Such action can include civil action and even criminal charges. That is exactly what an elderly New York man is facing after he was accused of fondling a resident at a nursing home where he was also staying. Authorities say that the victim of his alleged abuse lacked the physical capacity to both consent and resist his actions. Concerns were expressed about the man’s competency, despite the fact that he recognized that the other resident had no way of consenting to his actions. If convicted, he faces multiple years in prison. 

Sexual abuse occurring in nursing homes may be difficult to pinpoint if it is not directly observed by another. Thus, it is up to those whose loved ones are housed at such facilities to both take accusations of it seriously and to look for signs that it may be occurring if victims are hesitant to speak up. When it is alleged, immediate action should be taken. Working with an attorney who is experienced in such issues might help ensure that this happens.