Iowa Care Facility Cited for Putting Disabled Persons in Jeopardy

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on July 6, 2023 in Nursing Home Abuse
Updated on April 24, 2024

elderly man sitting in wheelchair facing a windowThe West 32nd Community Living Home is an intermediate care facility for individuals suffering from various intellectual disabilities. The facility, which is located in Dubuque, Iowa, has eight beds. Many residents there need 24-hour supervision to ensure they do not harm themselves or others.

Last month, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) issued 22 citations for substandard care, both for federal and state regulatory violations. Additionally, the DIA deemed the facility had placed its residents in immediate jeopardy.

When residents are placed in immediate jeopardy, it means the facility is out compliance. More specifically, it means the non-compliance issue or issues are deemed serious enough to place residents at immediate risk for physical harm, serious injury, or even death.

Reports of Disturbing Incidents at West 32nd Community Home

The DIA took a closer look at this facility following several serious incidents that had been reported, including:

  • A resident who struck his head on a window on February 18, hard enough that it broke the glass. However, he did not get a physical assessment of his injuries until February 27, nine days after the initial injury occurred.
  • A staff worker who reported another incident that occurred on February 18. This incident involved a co-worker at the facility who allegedly yanked a resident by the ankles, pulling him across a rug and into his room. After the resident complained of being in pain, the supervisor checked the man out, noting there were several rug burns on the man’s back, along with noticeable bruising. When the staff member was confronted about the incident, she claimed she had dragged the resident, but that it was done “playfully.” No further action was taken.
  • The previous year, on November 12, 2022, another resident hit his head after falling in the tub. In this instance, staff failed to assess his injuries until two days after the incident.
  • On May 26, a resident attempted to enter one of the offices. A staff member blocked the resident, causing the resident to fall to the floor. Then the worker allegedly shut the resident’s head in the door. A nearby worker who said she witnessed the whole event said it seemed that the worker purposely held the door shut on the resident’s head.

There were multiple other incidents and violations at the home, including medication errors. The facility was also cited for not providing dependent adult abuse training to its administrators and supervisors.

The facility is operated by the Area Residential Care Foundation of Dubuque, a non-profit organization in Iowa that manages three other facilities in the area as well.

West 32nd Fined for Several Violations

According to a news report, the facility was fined $13,750 for failing to provide appropriate nursing services to injured residents. A supervisor at the facility reportedly told inspectors that nursing services were not available on weekdays after 4:30 or on weekends.

Susan Freeman-Murdah, administrator at the West 32nd Community Home was not available for comment.

Call Our Law Offices if You Suspect Dependent Adult Abuse

At PKSD, we have been representing injured victims for decades, including victims of injury or abuse in care facilities. We are deeply committed to holding facilities accountable for acts of negligence and abuse. Our nursing home abuse attorneys have extensive experience managing these types of cases, and we are prepared to help.

Our firm has a history of proven results, and we are prepared to fight for the maximum possible compensation on your behalf.

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