Hospital Blanco Cervantes warns of cases of sexual abuse in older adults

What most worries the hospital authorities is that the aggressors are people very close to the older adult.

Authorities of the Raúl Blanco Cervantes National Hospital of Geriatrics and Gerontology of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund are concerned about the increase in the care of sexually abused elderly patients.

Dr. Milena Bolaños Sánchez, director of this medical center indicated that in the last month they have received two cases of older adults physically and sexually abused, and in a very violent way.

What most worries the hospital authorities is that the aggressors are people very close to the older adult.

“These are two women over 80 years old, the hospital has already made the corresponding complaints, however, we sound the alert, because we cannot allow this type of aggression to happen in our society to older adults who are extremely vulnerable. ”, indicated the director.

For more than 25 years, the National Hospital of Geriatrics and Gerontology has had the Committee for the Comprehensive Study of the Aggressed Elderly (CEINAA), which is made up of a multidisciplinary team of professionals from the medical center. Per month, they attend to an average of 25 to 30 cases of elderly hospital patients who are victims of physical, psychological, patrimonial abuse or due to neglect and abandonment, or sexual abuse.

As explained by Master Jeannette Martínez Muñoz, head of the Social Work service and coordinator of CEINAA, there are between three and four cases of sexual abuse per year, however, this time there were two in a month, with a degree of violence that puts on alert to the medical center due to the complexity of each case, where the aggressors are family members of the patients.

“We call on the population so that together we watch over the well-being of our older adults, being essential to be alert to the protection and supervision of their rights, so that together we avoid these unfortunate situations,” said Martínez.

The social worker listed the following warning signs, so that family members, caregivers and others can detect when an older adult is a victim of sexual abuse.

  1. Do not leave older adults alone at any time, continuous support and accompaniment is vital.
  2. Listen to her fears or concerns when she is with someone, familiar or not, that makes her nervous or uncomfortable. You have to believe them and validate their feelings or manifestations.
  3. Be attentive and observe changes in their usual behavior (sad, cries easily, isolates themselves, does not want to eat and avoids conversations).

Faced with these warning signs, the older adult should go to the nearest health center to request the care and support of the CCSS teams.

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Hospital Blanco Cervantes warns of cases of sexual abuse in older adults