October 30, 2012
A nursing home in Iowa has been cited and fined after failing to report alleged sexual exploitation by a staff member.
State reports indicate that in July, a female nurse at the Regency Care Center, in Norwalk, was entering the room of a male nursing home patient, and performing acts such as kissing and sexual contact. The nurse allegedly pulled the patient’s curtain closed before they engaged in the inappropriate behavior, but witnesses heard sounds of the two kissing. The nurse, who hasn’t been identified, warned another nursing home resident not to tell on her. However, the incident was reported and the nurse was fired by Regency Care Center’s administrator, Indie Miller.
Miller, however, failed to report the incident to state inspectors. When questioned, Miller stated that the act was consensual. Regardless, in the state of Iowa, both consensual and nonconsensual sexual contact between a patient and employee is illegal, and is considered nursing home abuse. As a result, Regency Care Center was fined $500 for failing to report the incident, in addition to a $3,000 fine for failure to provide its residents with the required care.
The $3,000 fine stemmed from an incident when another patient was found lifeless in front of a television. According to state reports, the patient was a diabetic, yet the staff failed to check his blood sugar and provide appropriate care. In addition to the fines, the nursing home may also face civil charges should the family of the residents seek a nursing home abuse lawyer and file a lawsuit.