When clients have needs that cannot be met on their own, TGP offers monthly visits and staff support, providing oversight and another set of eyes and ears for each client to help prevent the issues outlined by CNN’s investigation. CNN found that elder abuse in nursing homes is far more widespread that anyone would imagine. Predators find elderly patients to be easier prey, as officials are often quick to dismiss claims as hallucinations or fantasies. Sometimes victims can’t say or even remember what happened. In its study, CNN found that more than 1,000 nursing homes had been cited for mishandling suspected cases of abuse. CNN’s article states, “most citations detail residents abusing other residents, however the most serious accusations are regarding care givers and other staff—involving allegations of forced intercourse, oral sex, digital penetration, and other forms of sexual assault.” Also according to CNN’s study, more than 500 facilities have been cited for failing to investigate and report allegations of sexual abuse thoroughly to authorities, or for not properly screening employees for potentially abusive pasts.
A study sponsored by the National Institute of Justice found that the older a victim is, the less likely it is that an offender will be convicted of sexual abuse. Issues surrounding elder abuse are gravely important—the number of Americans over the age of 65 is projected to double between 2010 and 2050. We at The Guardianship Project are familiar with these issues, as we fight for our clients’ needs on a daily basis.