From behind the shadows: A profile of the sexual abuse of older men residing in nursing homes

Pamela B. Teaster, Holly Ramsey-Klawsnik, Marta S. Mendiondo, Erin Abner, Kara Cecil, Mary Tooms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Previous research on the sexual abuse of older adults has revealed few cases of the sexual abuse of older men. The first national study of the sexual abuse of vulnerable adults in facilities, reported in this article, collected data on alleged, investigated, and substantiated cases of sexual abuse. This study revealed 26 cases reported and screened in for investigation concerning the alleged sexual abuse of older men (aged 50 and older) residing in nursing homes. Cases occurred in five states within a six month time period. Of these cases, six were confirmed upon investigation by Adult Protective Services or other regulatory agencies. Victims tended to be predominately white males with cognitive and physical deficits that limited their ability for self care. The most typical sexual abuse alleged and substantiated was fondling. Residents were more often substantiated as the abuser than other perpetrators. Sexual abuse of older men in nursing homes crosses traditional gender, cultural, and role boundaries for both victims and perpetrators. doi:10.1300/J084v19n01_03

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Elder Abuse and Neglect
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Nov 20 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors express their appreciation to APS staff in New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin, DADs staff in Texas and Elder Abuse/BQA staff in Wisconsin, and study liaisons (Lynne Koontz, Valerie Eames, Nancy Jackson, Marilyn Whalen, Cynthia Guichet, Jane Raymond, Todd Boerger, and Shari Busse) for assisting with data collection. Support for this study was provided by the National Institute on Aging, R01 AG022944.


  • Abuse in nursing homes
  • Adult protective services
  • Elder abuse
  • Older men
  • Regulatory entities
  • Sexual abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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