Unwanted Sexual Touching in a Nursing Home
Incontinent nursing home residents require frequent diaper changes in order to stay clean. But can a male nurse change a female resident’s diaper in a nursing home? Can a man shower a female resident? The answer is more complicated than a simple yes or no. It will largely depend on the resident’s choice, the facility’s policy on male nurses cleaning female residents and what qualifications the male “nurse” has. Without proper consent or authority, this may be considered nursing home sexual abuse.
If a Woman Says No to a Male Nurse Changing Her Diaper or Bathing Her…
America is the land of freedom. Luckily for elderly residents, your rights do not stop at the nursing home door. This means if a cognitively aware female resident refuses to allow a male nurse to bathe her or change her diaper, the male nurse must find a female nurse to complete the task.
In Florida, the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights guarantees a resident:
“Be treated with consideration and respect and with due recognition of personal dignity, individuality, and the need for privacy.“
Most other state nursing home laws protect a similar right. This means if a female resident makes it known that she does not consent to allowing a male nurse to bathe her, shower her or change her diaper, the facility must accommodate the request. No one can be forced into allowing a nurse to clean their private areas.
Nursing Home Policy on Male Aides Bathing, Shaving and Cleaning Female Resident’s Genital Area
Most nursing homes have a policy in place preventing male aides from cleaning or touching a female resident’s genitalia without permission. This rule is in place for obvious reasons. As nursing home negligence attorneys, we are able to request the facility’s policies and procedures to see if the nursing home has rule forbidding male on female bathing.
According to PatientModesty.org:
“Nursing homes should never assign male nurses or assistants to female patients for intimate care tasks (bathing, changing diapers, dressing, cleaning women’s private parts after bowel movements, etc) due to the potential for sexual abuse.”
The topic has also been discussed among nurses, with a general consensus that for delicate female care needs (involving diaper changes, bathing, showering or catheter placement), most female patients prefer female nurses.
If the male nurse violates an internal nursing home policy, this is evidence of negligence.
Suing a Nursing Home for a Male Nurse Inappropriately Touching a Female Resident’s Vagina
When Does This Rise to the Level of Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility?
If the female resident is cognitively aware of what is going and actively says ‘NO’, a male nurse may not proceed with the planned diaper change, shower or cleaning. Sexual assault is defined as an unwanted or offensive touching of a person’s genitalia. This is true if the woman is 19 or 92 years of age.
The Male ‘Nurse’ Must Be an Appropriate Licensed Caretaker to Bathe a Resident, Regardless of Gender
With appropriate consent, a male registered nurse is legally allowed to bathe a female resident. However, a janitor or maintenance man is never allowed to bathe residents. Ever. Unfortunately, in understaffed nursing homes, we see employees forced to wear many hats and perform jobs outside their legal duties. Only licensed caretakers without sexual assault backgrounds are permitted to bathe, shower and clean residents around their genital area.
What Can I Do About a Male Nurse Violating My Mom in a Nursing Home?
Male nurses changing diapers or showering female patients without consent is a form of sexual assault. If your Mom is damaged, physically or mentally traumatized, she can sue the nursing home for sexual assault. If you think you have a case against a male nurse for inappropriately violating a female resident, contact our caring and experience nursing home abuse lawyers today for your free case consultation: 1-844-253-8919.
Instances of Inappropriate Male Touching Resulting in a Lawsuit Suing the Nursing Home
The following cases have resulted in nursing home sexual abuse lawsuits:
- Male nurse sticking his finger inside a female resident’s vagina while bathing her;
- A male aide washing a woman’s vagina without her consent;
- Actual penis penetration inside an non-consenting demented female resident’s vagina;
- Forced oral sex performed on an elderly female resident;
- A male nursing aide inappropriately kissing a resident, fondling her breasts and exposing his penis to her.
What to do Following a Sexual Assault in the Nursing Home
- Contact the local police non-emergency department to document the unwanted sexual touching.
- Report the nursing home abuse to the appropriate state agency.
- Get your loved one out of the nursing home and placed in a safer location.
- Contact our nursing home abuse law firm at 1-844-253-8919 to learn more about your legal rights in suing the at-fault facility for the sexual trauma.