Problems at Nursing Homes Include Feeding Issues, Residents Fighting

Four Iowa nursing homes have been designated as “special-focus facilities” by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services because of their alleged history of violating government health and safety standards for care centers.

One of the nursing homes, Blair House in Burlington, has had only a few minor violations in its five-month history and is on the government list because a different care center at the same location had its license revoked by the state.

Here’s a look at the three newly identified special-focus facilities in Iowa:

The Abington on Grand, Ames: This care center has a long history of problems dating back at least six years.

In 2002, a worker barricaded a female resident in her room by moving furniture against the doors to block her exit.

At the time, the home was also cited for failing to provide residents with adequate nutrition. As inspectors watched, one resident who needed feeding assistance sat at a dining table and called out, “What do I do now? Can someone put sugar on my cereal? Can someone please help me?”

One worker tried to block an inspector’s entrance to a kitchen area, saying, “You can’t come in yet.” The inspector found dead mice on the floor where melons had been stored.

In 2004 and 2005, the home was placed on the state’s own list of the worst care facilities in Iowa.

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