Apr 2

What are the Privacy Rights of Nursing Home Residents to Engage in Sexual Conduct?

Recently, I received the following questions:

“I am in a nursing home and have been accused of having sex with another resident. This is not true. We feel hurt & slandered. I have been in this nursing home for quite some time and we have never been questioned about this before. The two of us feel very uncomfortable every day because of these allegations. What course of action are we allowed to take.”

Here is my answer:

First, let me address the rights of nursing home residents to engage in sexual conduct at a facility. Under Illinois law, a nursing home is just that – a HOME. You are allowed to engage in any of the same conduct you would if you lived in a single family dwelling, apartment or condo. An exception would arise if either of the people engaged in the sexual behavior were unable to legally consent to the sexual conduct due to a mental illness or disability.

Next, let’s address the meat of your concern – which is that you are being accused of engaging in sexual relations with another resident by employees of the facility – which you say isn’t true. Unfortunately, I cannot respond to your question as casually as my colleagues, because as a nursing home rights attorney, I know that in Illinois we have a law called the nursing home care act 210 ILCS 45/210 et al., which strictly protects the privacy rights of its residents. This privacy protection includes protecting the private sexual acts of facility residents – and I am confident would extend to facility employees discussing the sexual acts of residents (whether they transpired or not!).

As an Illinois Nursing Home Rights Attorney, I recommend complaining to the facility administrator and asking that a plan be put into place to protect your privacy rights under the care act. If the problem isn’t corrected, I would then seek out an Illinois nursing home rights attorney to address your concerns. Feel free to call or email our office at (847) 628-8305 or solutions@argentolaw.com to discuss further.