Nursing home fails to report sexual abuse, faces fine

It is a difficult decision that many families in Oneida County face, but when family members choose to put loved ones in a nursing home it is because they know that a nursing home can provide the care that those loved ones need. And becaues it is not a light decision, many families will do their research: asking for recommendations, speaking with the elderly relatives' physicians, and checking the federal online database for nursing home information. While these are all excellent ways to decide which nursing homes are the safest, there are still problems that can arise.

Sadly, there are some nursing home staff members who treat residents with very little respect. From emotional and verbal abuse to assaults and inappropriate sexual touching, nursing home abuse is a very serious thing. Fortunately, residents and their family members can file lawsuits against the nursing homes at which they suffered abuse, holding them responsible for their pain and suffering.

While it remains unclear if one woman filed a lawsuit against the nursing home at which she was living when a staff person allegedly climbed into her bed, the nursing home was fined for its mishandling of the case. The incident was first noted when the woman's roommate reported the apparent sexual abuse. Surprisingly, however, the nursing home never contacted the officials, landing it a $36,000 fine.

Although the roommate denied anyone got into bed with her, the nursing home should have taken the allegations seriously. It is important that the health and safety of its residents are respected, which means following through on all allegations of nursing home abuse.

Source: The Daytona Beach News-Journal, "State fines nursing home $36,000 for mishandling sex abuse claim," Skyler Swisher, April 18, 2013

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