Sexual abuse in nursing homes is a widespread issue that is often ignored, in part because admitting and addressing the problem can be extremely uncomfortable to the public. Recent reports out of Iowa demonstrate the breadth of this problem, as well as the difficulty in relying on nursing home staff to prevent or stop apparent abuse. A local news report discussing the controversy discussed how the alleged perpetrator, known as “Captain McFeelypants” among staff members, was able to continue abusing residents while other staff were suspicious of his behaviors.
According to the local news report, the nursing home at issue has faced scrutiny due to numerous violations, including its failure to protect residents from sexual abuse. The alleged perpetrator, a male resident with a history of inappropriate behavior, was discovered on several occasions over the course of one year engaging in sexual misconduct with other residents.
Initially, The director of nursing found the suspected abuser groping and kissing a female resident in her room. Although it’s unclear whether the encounter was consensual, the male resident was educated on the importance of consent. On several other occasions, the same resident was caught attempting to engage in inappropriate conduct with another resident. Ultimately, A nurse aide walked in on the male resident atop a female resident, engaging in sexual activity. The female resident, who had severe cognitive impairments, reported feeling violated.