Yesterday, a 65 year old man was arrested for raping another resident of the nursing home in which he was also a resident in Lancaster County. He admitted to his crime after he was found leaving the woman's room, who has a dementia diagnosis, and was found with her pants down after he left. This raises many questions about the safety of skilled nursing facilities, as it is impossible to make them perfect for everyone's needs, but also about the criteria used to admit residents. Usually the criteria investigated include the medical needs, to make sure that the home is equipped to handle the needs of the potential resident, but also any monetary considerations and religious affiliations if it is a religious institutions. In this case, it seems that the administration knew that this man was a registered sex offender, but had not informed the other residents of this. While this is not a legal issue in that respect since he wasn't near any children, it brings up the point that sexual assault is always the result of a power differential, in this case, the man had power over a resident with dementia who does not recollect the incident and may not have understood what was going on. Sexuality in a nursing home has always been a tender topic, but situations like this, where sexual assault and rape has occurred, it should cause a discussion about healthy sexuality in such a setting, and that a continued discussion of sexual safety is never over just because you may be considered "too old" in the eyes of some.
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