A recent investigation by CNN uncovered a horrific phenomenon in nursing homes that is much more prevalent than most people realize: sexual assault. Over the course of five months, CNN found that more than 1,000 nursing homes across the country have been cited for mishandling or failing to report suspected cases of sex abuse between 2013 and 2016.


The cases they uncovered were horrifying, including but not limited to: the rape of an 83-year-old woman who had fled war-time Indonesia as a child, an assault on an 88-year-old woman who had only ever been with her husband that left her with a sexually transmitted disease, and one instance where a paralyzed man was sexually abused and forced to eat the contents of his diaper by a group of nursing aides. These residents were like most residents of nursing homes; sick, disabled, and vulnerable, making them easy targets for the attackers that preyed on them.

In many instances, the cover-ups in the crimes’ aftermaths only exacerbated the resulting pain and trauma. For example, many caregivers and aides with records including previous allegations of sexual assault were allowed to keep working and continued to assault other residents. Sadly, claims made by victims with cognitive conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s are often unfairly questioned, their medical conditions used to hide the truth. Nursing homes have also been accused of either ignoring claims of sexual abuse or actively impeding investigations to avoid facing closure or costly lawsuits.

If you have questions or concerns about nursing home neglect or abuse, and would like to speak with a nursing home attorney at Swartz & Swartz, P.C., please contact us. We are here to answer your questions and discuss how to seek justice and demand changes to protect you or your loved one. Call our Boston office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.

Read CNN’s full investigation report here.