The Ames Tribune reported last week on new allegations of sexual misconduct at an Ames, Iowa nursing home. The state department charged with inspecting the nursing facilities noted a new regulatory violation in September-only the latest in a string of problems at the nursing home.
The nursing home, Abington on Grand, was recently fined by the state for its latest violations. Specifically, staff at the facility completely ignored inappropriate sexual activity between two residents-seeming to find humor in the event. In one instance, two staff members were laughing while telling a third employee to examine one resident’s room. Upon entering the room the employee saw two residents naked from the waist down, engaging in compromising sexual activity. Both the male and female resident had been declared cognitively impaired, unable to make decisions for themselves.
Besides that instance there were dozens of other reported issues involving inappropriate sexual activity between residents. The nursing home had no policy in place to deal with resident-to-resident sexual behavior. Also, staff members had never been trained in the appropriate way to handle these events.
The complete disregard of regulations seems to be a pattern at the facility, with problems repeatedly documented by state investigators. In 2007 the nursing home was named one of the 54 worst facilities in the country by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Our Chicago nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti know that inappropriate sexual contact between residents is a common and often ill-handled problem at many nursing facilities. In many cases the contact involves one resident with normal cognitive function abusing another with severely diminished mental abilities. There is no reason why any nursing home should be caught off guard by the need to account for these possibilities. Safeguards, protocols, and training must be implemented so that nursing home residents are protected in their body and dignity.
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