A resident of the Park Haven Care Center in Smithton, Illinois was sexually assaulted by another resident of the facility. The victim is mentally impaired. His scores on the Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) are almost exactly on the line between severe and moderate cognitive impairment. According to the report, he is able to respond to most questions with “Yes”, “No”, or “I don’t know.” English is not his first language. He also has diagnoses that include schizophrenia and depression.
According to the report, there were three major failings in the conduct of Park Haven Care Center staff immediately following the incident. Without going into graphic detail of the assault, the evidence surrounding the incident are relatively straightforward. Nursing home staff members noticed physical evidence of abuse involving a resident. The resident told staff members, as best he could, that he had been the victim of sexual assault.
Park Haven Care Center staff failed to immediately report the incident to the local police or the nursing home head Administrator. The nursing home also failed to maintain the evidence of the assault. Park Haven Care Center also failed to thoroughly investigate the incident.
Resident on resident violence is a growing concern in nursing homes around the country and one of the most dangerous aspects of nursing home neglect. In an effort to fill available beds, nursing homes are admitting younger residents with mental or emotional problems. Occasionally these residents, housed side by side with frail elderly residents, can be extremely violent.
The first obligation of any nursing home is to protect the health and well being of the residents in their care. The resident who committed the assault was known to be “hypersexual,” and yet he was allowed to have private access to other residents.
If you have a loved one who you feel has been the victim of an assault by another resident, contact my law offices for a free and confidential evaluation of your case. At the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, we never charge a fee unless we earn a recovery for you.