Convalescent Home Crimes
increase of elderly community members, due to the baby boomers and a
longer lifespan, there will be a greater need for long-term care. This
will include a need for convalescent homes, at-home care and adult day
cares. The following crime prevention tips are provided to assist
seniors, their relatives and friends in making sure our elderly
community members don’t become victims.
Often convalescent home
crimes and related quality of life issues go unreported. These crimes
and issues usually go unreported because:
Seniors fear retaliation for reporting crimes by their caretakers.
Seniors may think that no one cares about them or what happens to them.
They may think that the crimes committed against them are just a fact
of life and there is nothing that can be done to change it.
Seniors may be embarrassed to tell their family or friends what has been
done to them because of what their family or friends might think.
Seniors may be ashamed to ask their family or friends for assistance.
Convalescent home employees, who become aware or witness crimes in the
home, may not report these crimes, fearing retaliation from their
Crimes in Convalescent Homes
There are several types of crimes that can occur. These crimes can
range from physical abuse, criminal neglect, sexual assault, emotional,
psychological abuse or financial abuse. It’s hard to believe that such
crimes can occur against seniors but these abuses are a harsh reality.
It must be pointed out that many seniors are as vulnerable as small
children are. The following is a list of possible signs of abuse and
Dragging the patient by the arms or hair
Hitting or slapping
Rough handling or grabbing
The lack of physical activity
Rashes, sores, lice
Untreated medical condition
Over or under medicated
Emotional & Psychological Abuse
Threat of withdrawal of services
Verbal threats of punishment
Fraudulent billing for nonservices
Overcharging for services
Theft of personal effects
Sexual assault is when a senior is forced, manipulated, or coerced into unwanted sexual activity, or the senior lacks the ability to consent to any sexual activity. Family members, staff members of homes or a stranger can initiate sexual assault. Sexual assault can include:
Selecting a Convalescent Home
When choosing a home, look at the surroundings. Check the inside and outside of the home for cleanliness and grounds that are well kept. This can indicate an overall concern by the caretakers for cleanliness. When walking inside smell the air. It should smell clean and fresh not musty or have a high chemical smell.
Look at the home’s equipment to make sure it is in good working condition and not outdated. This could indicate the lack of funds to assist in the care or well being of the patients. Talk to employees about the condition of the home and their work environment. Happy employees indicate a high morale that in-turns creates employees that are more concerned about the quality of the job they perform.