Aperion Care Fined After Dementia Resident Was Sexually Assaulted
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has fined an Aperion Care nursing home in Jacksonville $25,000 for an alleged resident-to-resident sexual assault. According to the state agency’s report of Illinois nursing home violators, an investigation found the facility to have failed at adequately assessing and identifying sexual vulnerability and resident-to-resident abuse.
Here is what was found through IDPH’s report:
- The incident occurred March 9, 2019, at Aperion Care, located at 1021 N. Church St. in Jacksonville, Illinois.
- The assault involved two residents, a 72-year-old woman with dementia, and a 59-year-old schizophrenic man.
- Administrators knew the man showed inappropriate sexual behavior as noted in his care plan.
- A housekeeper opened the woman’s door, found the man naked, with the woman on the bed, and her pants pulled down and other clothing removed.
- Staff intervened and a nurse examined and determined the woman had been involved in a sexual activity.
Most alarming to review through this report was that this was likely not the first incident in which the male resident violated the woman.
- A certified nursing aid saw the man go into the woman’s room, shut the door and when the CNA opened the door, the man had his leg lifted to get on top of the woman.
- On several other occasions, staff told investigators that the man had been noticed going into the woman’s room and had been told not to do so.
The state determined Aperion’s failure “to adequately assess/identify sexual vulnerability and increased risk of resident-to-resident abuse and … to implement/monitor interventions and prevent resident-to-resident abuse,” which resulted in the sexual assault. Licensing requirements were also found not met by the facility involving supervision of nursing services, general requirements for nursing and personal care, resident care policies, and abuse and neglect.
Family Members Should Know If A Loved One Was Sexually Abused
During the investigation, an Aperion staff member said they reported the incident to the woman’s daughter but were told the family did not want to press charges or send their mother to the hospital for further examination.
The same family member told investigators she was indeed contacted about a sexual encounter but was not given a lot of detail. She also had not been notified of the reason for her mother’s room changes, according to the report.
Upon being notified of any sexual (or physical) abuse by a loved one or facility staff, family members should not hesitate to report what they have been told to the Illinois Department of Public Health. This will prompt an investigation and remove any chance for the resident to be abused furthermore. Taking action against negligent nursing homes also sends a strong message that family members are watching, and any form of abuse will not be tolerated.
Fighting for Residents and Patients Who Have Been Sexually Assaulted
At Levin & Perconti, we can help by providing a free online case evaluation form for families of those abused. You can also call us at 877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872 to speak with one of our experienced nursing home lawyers. Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys will listen to your potential case and go over all of your legal options in a free and confidential consultation. You will never pay any fees unless we successfully resolve your claim.
Read more: Nursing Homes Slow to Respond to Sexual Abuse Allegations