The Latest News on the Risk of Nursing Home Abuse for LGBT Seniors from an Elder Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home residents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) have a higher risk of experiencing abuse. Our elder abuse lawyer would like those with relatives or other loved ones in nursing homes to learn more about this increased risk and to understand the importance of seeking elder law services for suspected cases of abuse.
The National Center on Elder Abuse surveyed close to 500 LGBT elderly individuals who reside in nursing homes. The results of this study showed that prejudice toward residents who identify as LGBT leads to hostile conditions that increase the risk of both verbal and physical abuse. This abuse comes from employees in nursing homes, as well as other residents. The study showed that 65 percent of those who were surveyed have been victims of abuse associated with their sexual orientation. The types of abuse they were subjected to included verbal abuse, fear of having their sexual orientation told to other individuals, physical assault, sexual assault and violent threats. The study also found that 29 percent of those surveyed had been victims of physical assault. Among these residents, men experienced a higher occurrence of assault than women.
Another study among LGBT seniors conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse found that 8.3 percent have experienced abuse or neglect linked to negative attitudes about LGBT individuals on the part of caregivers. The study also showed that 8.9 percent of seniors who identify as LGBT have been either financially exploited, or blackmailed, or threatened with these actions by caregivers who are homophobic. In some cases, nursing home employees did not allow LGBT residents to have visitors or refused to allow partners to be involved with decisions on their medical care. Partners were also denied the ability to share a room.
Those with loved ones who identify as LGBT and live in nursing homes should be aware of the signs of abuse and report possible instances of it. Doing so helps keep their loved ones safe and can lower the risk of abuse to other LGBT residents in the same nursing home. If you have a loved one in a nursing home and have reason to suspect abuse, give Garcia, Artigliere & Medby a call at 1-800-281-8515 to schedule a free consultation.