Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What to do when a resident sexually harasses?

We have a resident in the home who, in my opinion, has mild dementia and is mostly aware of his surroundings. He's been known to make unpleasant and unwarranted, offensive sexual advances to my other female coworkers, like: kissing people on the neck/cheek when he asks for a hug, or checking out people's butts in front of them, or commenting to other residents on how the female CNAs touch his dick and butt when we toilet him (won't go into details). It's all very inappropriate.

A new worker, an East African woman, just started work 2 weeks ago. When she left for her shift, he told my other male coworker, and asked: "Is she new? When is she going to give me pussy?"

The next day, the male worker told me the story, cracking up and laughing about it. He said, "X is funny, you know, he asked me yesterday etc etc..."

I was hella pissed. I told my coworker to report it to the nurse. He did, and he told me that the nurse responds saying, " Oh, dont take him seriously. He is confused." This convenient "suck it up, you are a healthcare worker" mentality is the same one I get when I approach them about the racial slurs some of our residents use.

Confused, my ass. He knows what he is talking about.

Another female CNA had asked the charge nurse to reassign him to a male CNA. The damn boss sits on it, always saying, "next time."

The only male CNA on our unit, whom X had confided in, isnt pro-active about it. Of course, because he doesnt want to switch. He has an easy load right now and doesnt want to take on X.

I told the new woman worker that when she works with him, she should always ask one of us to be there. To have a witness. How disgusting is it to be wiping someone's butt and dick cos you gotta clean them for your job, and actually have them be wanting something else? It feels disgusting.

One part of me recognizes that part of the oppression of institutionalized caging for people with disabilities is the regimentation of sexuality, or more realistically, the desexualization of people with disabilities and the elderly. That needs to change. But when some of the nurses use this logic as a semi-excuse to say that this resident's sexual harassment is acceptable, that's fucked up.

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