Why Women are More At-Risk for Nursing Home Abuse

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on April 30, 2019 in Nursing Home Abuse
Updated on April 25, 2024

woman depressed with bruises on faceEvery resident of a nursing home is at risk for suffering some kind of abuse. Unfortunately, the most vulnerable people in our society are often the ones who are taken advantage of. However, some people are more at-risk for abuse than others, such as women.

Below, learn more about why women are more at-risk for abuse in nursing homes. If you suspect your loved one is being abused, contact our licensed attorneys for a free, no obligation consultation.

Main Reasons Women are in Danger

Elderly women are a common target for abusers due to many factors. These include:

  • Women are often perceived to be weaker than men.
  • Women have longer life expectancies than men.
  • Women are more likely to live alone, which could leave them susceptible to abuse.
  • There is a higher population of women in nursing homes. In 2013 and 2014, the majority of patients in nursing homes and residential care communities were women (66.8 percent of nursing home residents were women and 70.2 percent of residential care community residents were women).
  • Elderly women are more prone to diseases that cause disabilities, such as Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.
  • Women typically take longer to recover from an illness or surgery than men.

In Wisconsin, there were 18,075 female nursing home residents and 9,436 male residents in 2014.

Risk of Sexual Assault

From 2000 to 2017, there were 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse made against nursing homes. These numbers equal about 1,000 cases each year, but a large number are never reported so the actual amount of nursing home sexual abuse cases is likely higher.

Nursing homes are often slow to conduct investigations and report allegations of sexual abuse, either due to not believing women or wanting to hide the allegations. If a report makes it to the police, it is often dismissed by claiming the victim’s memory may not be strong. State regulators also do not flag repeated sexual abuse allegations by caregivers, making it easier for an abuser to continue this behavior.

Signs of sexual abuse among elderly women living in nursing homes may include:

  • Unexplained bruising
  • Swelling of the genital area
  • Lacerations and abrasions of the genitals
  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Development of sexually transmitted diseases

Currently, no national data is available regarding the number of sexual abuse cases reported against nursing homes.

Contact an Attorney for Help

If you believe your loved one is being abused while living in a nursing home, take action to protect their rights and safety. Our nursing home abuse lawyers in Wisconsin fight to hold negligent care providers responsible for the harm they have caused while working to recover compensation you rightfully deserve.

Request your free consultation today to find out more about legal options that may be available in your situation. There are no upfront fees and payment is only due if you are compensated.

Call 414-333-3333 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form now.

Back to top