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Nursing Care In Iowa: Failing To Make The Grade

A non-profit advocacy group used federally determined factors to compare nursing home care in states across the country. In this comparison, Iowa received a grade of F. 

Families for Better Care is a Florida-based organization working toward better service and care for nursing home residents in the United States. In 2012, the group compared staffing, ombudsman complaints and other criteria to grade and rank each state. Coming in 41st in the nation, Iowa failed to make the grade. 

Comments about nursing care in Iowa include: 

  • Iowa had a very high rate of verified ombudsman complaints. This means complaints registered with the state for violations in nursing homes were proved to reflect real problems with nursing care. 
  • Data revealed approximately 97 percent of facilities in Iowa had deficiency violations and almost 24 percent of facilities had severe deficiencies. 
  • Across the country, 11 states received failing grades, including Iowa. 

Recent news reports highlight the problem of troubled care in Iowa nursing homes. The Gowrie Care Center in Gowrie, Iowa was fined $2,150 for failing to properly supervise a registered sex offender living on the premises. 

The offender, 80-year-old John Steinkamp, was found in bed with his roommate who alleged a sexual assault had taken place. The care plan of Mr. Steinkamp was updated to provide better supervision by staff and an alarm placed on his door in the event Mr. Steinkamp left his room. 

Mr. Steinkamp eventually showed staff how he learned to silence the alarm on his door, and, at a later visit, a state inspector observed Mr. Steinkamp, with no supervision, watching and moving toward a child playing catch at the nursing home. 

Sex-offenders living in care facilities in Iowa continue to be an issue, along with what appears to be problems with poor care at nursing homes in our state. 

If you have concerns about the safety of a loved one in a care facility, seek experienced legal counsel in Des Moines.