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The reports show that 226 nursing homes have been cited for failing to protect residents from instances in which sexual abuse was substantiated between 20.
Of these cases, around 60% resulted in fines, which totaled more than million -- though only 16 facilities were permanently cut off from Medicare and Medicaid funding.
More than 500 facilities had been cited for failing to investigate and report allegations of sexual abuse thoroughly to authorities or for not properly screening employees for potentially abusive pasts. They're owned by huge corporations and regional chains but also by nonprofits and mom-and-pop small business owners.
One nursing director told a state inspector that "if the facility reported all allegations it would be numerous and the State Agency wouldn't want that either." Because of this lack of investigation or reporting, it's hard to determine how many of the alleged cases of abuse were substantiated or resulted in criminal proceedings. And the issue is only becoming more pressing as the elderly population booms, with the number of Americans over age 65 projected to more than double between 20.
But most states could not say how frequently abuse investigations involved sexual allegations, often stating that sex abuse allegations are not categorized separately from other forms of abuse.
The federal government doesn't specifically track all sexual allegations either.
More than 16,000 complaints of sexual abuse have been reported since 2000 in long-term care facilities (which include both nursing homes and assisted living facilities), according to federal data housed by the Administration for Community Living.
But because many citations included information about intimate medical care and not abuse, CNN reporters read more than 6,000 citations to identify only those related to allegations of sexual assault or abuse.CNN surveyed the health departments and other agencies that oversee long-term care facilities in all 50 states.Of the states that could provide at least some data, the responses varied widely.The stories found in these reports range from sad to sickening.
An aide admitted to urinating in the shower while a female resident was inside it, showing her his erect penis and kissing her -- then warning her not to tell anyone.The result: CNN exclusively found that the federal government has cited more than 1,000 nursing homes for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse at their facilities during this period.