The Chicago Tribune has been running an ongoing investigation into abuse allegations stemming from nursing homes. That's right, the people that many everyday Chicagoans trust to take care of their loved ones are taking that trust and tearing it right from our beating hearts.
Since 2006, Chicago authorities have investigated 86 cases of sexual abuse against the disable and elderly nursing home residents in the Chicagoland area. A single case resulted in a single arrest, meaning that the rest of the predators in nursing homes are still roaming free.
Statistically, this reflects 25% of the city's nursing homes, or 30 homes. Out of those 30, that's 3 sexual assaults in each over a 2 1/2 year period.
Sexual predators are able to access unlocked doors in nursing homes, able to choose their victims with little fear of being caught. The Tribune reported that of those 86 cases, only 9 were reported at or near the time they occurred, and one was reported months afterwards.
The sexual attacks are mainly a result of residents attacking other residents; the one prosecution was an orderly. Police report that a small percent involve visitors or strangers. The high incidence of attacks between residents is due to the fact that Illinois houses younger psychiatric patients in nursing homes, many of them with criminal records; according to the Tribune:
Government records show that the 30 Chicago facilities where rapes were reported were roughly twice as likely to house convicted felons and mentally ill patients as the 89 city nursing homes without a sexual assault allegation.
While increasing staff levels will help abate the nursing home abuse, you can take steps to protect elderly patients that cannot protect themselves. If you fear that some sort of abuse is taking place, whether it's over-medication, physical violence, negligent care, or sexual abuse, U-Spy Store carries a variety of products to help the elderly.
For instance, you could purchase a personal panic alarm. They're low-cost and extremely loud, drawing attention from the staff or other patients that someone is in trouble. Another method is to install a motion-activated door alarm that can be turned on at night or when a resident does not want to, or is incapable of, receiving visitors. There are also numerous ways to monitor activity when patients are asleep or alone. Discrete audio recording devices will document any conversation that happen in a patients room. Further, hidden cameras are able to be installed anywhere, capturing video of the resident's room. The cameras can activate on motion or sound. Finally, there are cameras pre-installed in normal household items:
- Clock Radios
- Smoke Detectors
- Air Purifiers
- A common ink pen
- Key Chains
- Personal Radios
- Coke Cans
If you need help with any of these items, please contact U-Spy Store. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call: (773) 529-2779.