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Facility fined for failing to prevent nursing home abuse

Recently this White Plains legal blog discussed three types of abuse that may occur within the walls of nursing homes. All forms of nursing home abuse against individuals in need of care and support to live their most prosperous lives are heinous, from sexual assault and abuse that robs them of their security and dignity to financial abuse that leaves them without the means to pay for their ongoing expenses.

However, a New York nursing home was recently fined for allowing abuse to happen at the hands of some of its patients. Two male patients of the home, both of whom suffered from diseases that affected their cognitive capacities, were found to have sexually abused other patients in the home as well members of the home's staff. The abuse ranged from grabbing and pinching individuals to one case of an aggressor forcing a victim into performing a sexual act.

One of the reasons that these unspeakable acts may have occurred is a problem of understaffing throughout nursing homes across the country. As fewer individuals enter into employment in residential and care facilities there are fewer people to supervise the patients who require their help. While this rationale may provide an explanation for why these incidents occurred they in no way justify them.

Although criminal charges may not be filed against the aggressors in this case due to their limited mental capacity, the nursing home at the center of this tragedy may face claims of liability by the victims and their families. Civil lawsuits based on personal injuries sustained in nursing homes, care homes, and other medical facilities can often be used to help victims receive the compensation that they require to begin the difficult process of moving their lives forward.

Source: Syracuse.com, "Syracuse nursing home fined for sex abuse among residents, growing national problem," James T. Mulder, April 27, 2017

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