Nursing home rape epidemic: What's being done after CNN report?

(CNN)When CNN published a report revealing widespread sexual abuse and assault in nursing homes, many people asked the same question: Why isn't more being done to stop it?

The multi-part investigation revealed disturbing cases of rape and sexual abuse by nursing assistants and found that more than 1,000 nursing homes had been cited for mishandling suspected cases of sexual abuse. It also documented the trail of one aide who is accused of being a serial abuser -- moving from facility to facility despite a history of allegations against him.
In response, the National Association of Health Care Assistants pledged to take action. The organization said it was "saddened and sickened by the CNN investigative report" and that it planned to immediately ramp up its education and training efforts. It said it especially wants to ensure that nursing assistants know how to spot potential abuse and report it promptly.
    CNN also heard from family members who say they believe their loved ones were victimized, nursing home employees who say they were forced out of their jobs after reporting abuse and advocates for the elderly and industry insiders who say immediate change is needed.
    How safe are your elderly loved ones?

    There's no way to know about abuse that goes unreported. But you can look up the name of a nursing home in federal inspection data and see whether it has been cited for sexual abuse or other issues in the past three years. Here's how:

    1. Go to the federal Nursing Home Compare website to look up facilities by name or location.

    2. On the first page of results, you will see a star rating for the facility based on factors such as staffing levels. A history of abuse or other inspection problems will typically be reflected in the "health inspection" rating.

    3. Click on the health inspection rating to see a summary of the facility's most recent inspection.

    4. From here, click on "View all health inspections." For details, go to a specific date and click "View full report."

    5. From the main profile page for the facility, click on "Penalties" to see if an inspection resulted in fines or payment denials.

    6. To view older citations, download archived reports here or file a public records request here. Some states may also offer detailed information. A list of state websites is here.

    "We have been advocating for quality care for more than four decades, yet the findings of the CNN investigation are among the most shocking and frightening we have ever encountered," Lori Smetanka, executive director of the nonprofit group Consumer Voice, said in a public statement, one of several issued by advocacy groups in reaction to the report. "The sexual abuse of defenseless, vulnerable residents who can't remove themselves from harm, often can't communicate what has happened, and are frequently not believed even when they do, is reprehensible."