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Family claims nursing home did not protect from sex abuse

The decision to move a family member into a nursing home is never easy. Concern for their well-being of is strong. That concern involves basic care to ensuring that staff members treat residents caringly and provide a good environment in which they can live well, free from neglect or abuse. Nursing homes in rural areas, such as in Central Illinois, may not be close to where family members can visit daily, making abuse harder to notice.

Nursing home abuse can be mistreatment on the part of staff members, abuse from other residents or either coupled with a cover-up by staff or administration. The family of one resident at the Pomeroy Care Center in Iowa is suing the nursing home for alleged sexual abuse by another resident, a known sex offender. The family alleges that the nursing home admitted a known sex offender without providing proper protection for other residents. They also claim that the Iowa Department of Human Services, knowing that the alleged abuser was being placed in the home, did not proactively take the steps necessary to ensure other residents would be safe from nursing home abuse. 

In addition to the family's lawsuit, the Iowa Board of Nursing Home Administrators is pursuing action directly against the administrator who was on board at the time of the abuse. She is now the administrator at another nursing home.

Elder abuse is a serious topic in our society and any sign of it should be reported immediately to ensure our elderly are kept safe and protected. If you suspect the abuse of any elderly person, whether or not in a nursing home, talking to an attorney experienced in this area of law can help you identify what can be done. 

Source: Des Moines Register, "Nursing home administrator faces sanctions in sex abuse case," Clark Kauffman, June 17, 2013

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