Nursing home cited for failing to prevent sexual abuse of residents

Accused resident was known to the staff as ‘Captain McFeelypants’

By: - August 28, 2023 5:04 pm

Caring Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation in Anita is facing possible fines for failing to protect residents from sexual abuse. (Photo via Google Earth)

A Cass County nursing home with a history of recent violations is facing possible fines for failing to protect residents from sexual abuse.

The alleged perpetrator is a male resident of Caring Acres Nursing and Rehabilitation in Anita. The man’s known history of groping workers and residents had earned him the nickname “Captain McFeelypants” among the staff at the facility, according to inspectors.

Caring Acres was inspected by the state recently and cited for 12 state and federal regulatory violations related to the abuse of residents, the failure to implement policies on abuse, the failure to report alleged violations to the state, the failure to investigate or correct alleged violations, the inadequate treatment of pressure sores, insufficient or incompetent behavioral-needs staff, and several other issues.

According to state inspectors, the facility failed to protect at least two of its 32 residents from sexual abuse.

According to DIAL, facility records show that on Jan. 25, the home’s director of nursing entered a female resident’s room to tell her it was time for lunch and found a male resident of the home leaning over the woman’s bed, groping her breasts and kissing her intimately. The director of nursing told the man to leave and asked the female resident whether she was OK and whether the encounter was consensual. The resident nodded in the affirmative, although it’s not clear from inspectors’ reports which question the woman was answering.

The director of nursing went to the male resident’s room and, according to the inspectors, “educated him on the importance of consent” and the fact that some people are not be able to make proper decisions for themselves.

Later, in talking to inspectors, the director of nursing acknowledged that neither resident was capable of providing informed consent for sexual activity. She also told inspectors that when she informed the administrator, he indicated there was no need to tell the Iowa Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing (DIAL) of the incident.

A nurse aide told inspectors the male resident’s nickname among the workers was “Captain McFeelypants” because he was at times inappropriate with the staff. She told inspectors the man would also sit on the couch and grope female residents but he “never would go past first base.”

On Jan. 30, the staff reported that the man was “found trying to get the resident from Room 206 to let him go up under her shirt.”

On April 9, the man was found touching a female resident’s thigh, rubbing her shoulders and kissing her.

On April 16, he was seen sitting on a couch in the lounge, “trying to get his hands up underneath another resident’s shirt,” inspectors reported.

“I told him, ‘Get off, get off.’”

On the evening of July 17, a nurse aide walked into a female resident’s room. As she later stated in her written report, when she opened the door, she saw an undressed male resident of the home in the woman’s bed, on top of the woman. The man was in “mid-thrust when both residents turned to look at me,” the aide wrote in her report.” The aide separated the two and summoned a nurse to the room.

The nurse did an assessment of the female resident, and facility records indicate that when asked what happened the woman reported the man had come into her room and “said he wanted to do sex.” She reported that she told the man, “Get outta here,” at which point he took off his clothes, took off some of her clothes, and lay on top of her.

“I told him, ‘Get off, get off,’” the woman reported.

The woman – who had Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and severely impaired cognitive skills — was checked for vaginal bleeding and reportedly told the staff she “didn’t mind” the encounter. The police were notified, as was DIAL.

During DIAL’s investigation of the matter, another resident of the home told inspectors she had seen the male resident touch a female resident’s breasts and genitals and had once seen him take his penis out of his slacks.

As a result of the recent inspection, the state has proposed a fine of $28,500. That fine is being held in suspension while the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services decides whether to impose a federal penalty in place of the state fine.

CMS reports that in the past three years, it has fined the facility three times – most recently in March 2021 when a fine of $129,116 was imposed. Caring Acres currently has a one-star rating from CMS for both staffing levels and overall quality.

In January of this year, state inspectors cited Caring Acres for 16 state and federal regulatory violations — an unusually high number. The state proposed a $7,500 fine. Because the facility didn’t appeal that penalty, the fine was automatically reduced 35% to $4,875.

Caring Age is owned by Anew Healthcare Operations of Blue Springs, Mo. The for-profit company operates 12 nursing homes in Iowa, Kansas and Missouri and is headed by Mark Hastings of Missouri. No one at the company responded to messages seeking comment Monday.

Earlier this year, Hastings applauded the Iowa Legislature’s decision to provide $15 million in additional funding for owners of nursing homes, posting that it was “heartening to see Iowa’s state lawmakers take action to address the financial burdens facing nursing homes … Overall, Iowa’s state lawmakers should be commended for their efforts to support nursing homes and protect access to long-term care for Iowans.”

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Clark Kauffman
Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing.