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Understanding Elderly Sexual Abuse and Taking Action

When your elderly loved one requires nursing home care, you expect and trust that your family member will be cared for by dedicated professionals who create a comfortable environment for them and treat them with kindness, respect, and dignity. While many senior care facilities are diligent in offering high standards of care, there are, unfortunately, numerous cases within the state of New York where nursing home residents have found to be subjected to neglect, poor medical care, and even sexual abuse.

Check out our previous article for more relevant information:

Prominent New York Elderly Sexual Abuse Cases

In 2013, a janitor, who was employed by Riverdale Nursing Home for twelve years, was arrested Understanding Elderly Sexual Abuse and Taking Actionand convicted of sexually assaulting an 81 year old resident of the facility. Another employee of the nursing home witnessed Jorge Sarmiento sexually assaulting the elderly, female victim, who suffers from advanced Alzheimer's disease. When Sarmiento was arrested and the family was notified, the incident prompted family members to recall other incidents when the victim was experiencing unusual symptoms, now linked to ongoing sexual abuse.

More recently, in 2014, John Tamba, an employee of a nursing home facility, was arrested and charged with nine counts of sexually abusing a female patient at a local nursing home facility. It was alleged that Tamba engaged in forcible sexual contact with the physically disabled female victim while she was in his care at the nursing home. Tamba was charged by the Medicaid Fraud Unit, part of the Attorney General's office that is responsible for protecting elderly and disabled citizens from fraud and abuse perpetrated by nursing homes. The Attorney General has repeatedly indicated how seriously they feel about protecting nursing and long-term care patients in vulnerable situations.

 Sexual Victimization

Although neglect and poor medical care may result in significant physical and emotional problems for residents of
nursing homes, sexual abuse is the most damaging and most reprehensible type of abuse that can take place in a nursing home setting. The primary concern with sexual abuse within a nursing home setting is that it takes on a variety of facets, and may cause a victim to suffer in silence.

In many instances, victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes are typically singled out due to their medical conditions, which make it difficult for them to communicate with others and report the abuse. Dementia and Alzheimer's patients are commonly victimized due to their difficulty with recalling events and their inability to effectively communicate what happens to them behind the closed doors of the nursing home environment.

Sexual abuse of patients in long-term care facilities and nursing homes, where there is an expectation of trust, is a serious problem and while not all problems can be avoided with due diligence, be sure to research a facility using the Department of Health prior to moving your family member to a nursing home facility.

Suspicion Of Sexual Abuse

We understand that there will be many questions if you suspect that your loved one is the victim of sexual abuse within a nursing home and you will experience many emotions. It is always best to contact a professional who can guide you through the reporting process and who will help to navigate the legal journey.

Also see: Did The Nursing Home Reform Act Work?

Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: February 24, 2017
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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