A nursing home worker in Missouri has allegedly admitted to police that he fondled a 92-year-old Alzheimer’s patient roughly 100 times before he was caught in her bed by other staffers earlier this year.
According to the probable cause statement, defendant was a nurse’s aid at the home. Victim, who is in the late states of Alzheimer’s disease, is described as “retracted,” usually curled up in a near fetal position. Her alleged attacker was immediately fired.
This kind of reprehensible violation against someone so vulnerable is difficult for many people to understand, let alone confront. Unfortunately, it’s more common than we’d like to believe. Sexual assault in general is a vastly under-reported and under-prosecuted crime. When the victim is aging, dependent and suffering from a disease like dementia, the reporting rate is even lower. The National Institute of Justice reported last year that sexual abuse is one of the most understudied aspects of elder mistreatment. Researchers discovered assailants were most likely to be charged with a crime when victims exhibited indications of physical trauma. That doesn’t describe the aftermath of many cases, though it doesn’t mean they were any less traumatic. Continue reading →