Balance Autism Cited; Residents Were Put in Immediate Jeopardy

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on April 23, 2024 in Nursing Home Abuse

close up of stock image. Old man holding his head. Balance Autism in central Iowa is an intermediate level facility that treats and cares for adults with autism. Following a state inspection last January, however, the facility came under fire after being cited for 18 regulatory violations. These violations also resulted in a $5,000 fine against the facility. Situations observed during the state’s investigation were reportedly so bad that the inspectors determined the violations placed residents living there in immediate jeopardy.

One of the most serious violations against Balance Autism included delays in obtaining medical treatment for residents and medication errors. Inspectors also cited the facility for inadequate staff training, staff treatment of residents, and failure to ensure client safety and privacy.

A news article reported that during the investigation, one inspector reported seeing one resident pull another resident by the shirt collar, forcing his head to strike the door. Despite two staff workers being present at the time, no one intervened. The staff also did not write up the incident.

Another incident state inspectors reported was observed in a November 28 surveillance video. The incident involved a 72-year-old resident who fell hard enough to sustain bleeding gashes to his head. Although the man was cleaned up within minutes, he fell a second time a short time later. The man struck his head again, this time on the door frame. Despite two injuries to the head, staff waited more than four hours to send a nurse to assess the man.

Other surveillance videos captured instances of neglect, such as prolonged periods without scheduled activities and residents not receiving balanced meals as described in menus. The facility was fined an additional $500 for not reporting a pattern of client-to-client aggression that resulted in injuries.

During previous inspections, Balance Autism received citations for similar violations, with instances of neglect and inadequate care noted.

State inspectors also noted that although Balance Autism is a nonprofit organization, it had substantial revenue, and its top executives are highly paid.


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