Social Media and Iowa Nursing Home Abuse

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Posted by Pressley Henningsen

In this day and age of social media, Iowa nursing home abuse has taken a different path.

An example of this has been illustrated in a story by NPR.  A certified nursing assistant (CNA) for an Iowa nursing home posted a photo online of a resident who had soiled himself.  The demeaning photo was sent to six coworkers with a vulgar caption.  Unfortunately, this photo wasn’t against the law — at least, not yet.

The law can sometimes take a while to get caught up with society.  Lawmakers and nursing home leaders are working to establish guidelines for dealing with these situations, but it will take time.

What Are Your Rights If Your Loved One is Being Mistreated?

If this happens to your loved one, you are not powerless.  There are steps you can take to keep your loved one safe and get them justice for the abuse.

1. Report the photo on the social media platform

Each social media platform has ways to report inappropriate or abusive content.  On Facebook, for example, you can easily report a photo.  First, click on the photo to open it.  Hover your cursor over the photo, then click on the “Options” button in the right bottom corner.  This should give you the option to report the photo.

This is the best way to have the photo removed.  Reporting the photo as inappropriate means someone will review the offensive content and likely remove it.

Before you report the photo, be sure to take a screenshot of the content and save the screenshot to a safe place.  This will serve as crucial evidence against the person who posted the offensive content.

2. Report the incident to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) has a place on their website to report the incident.  You can fill out the online form or contact them on their toll free intake phone number.  Registering a formal complaint will result in an investigation by the DIA into the incident.  You may choose to remain anonymous when reporting the incident.

3. Speak with the nursing home administration

Each nursing home should have guidelines they follow if this type of incident occurs.  Make sure you ask the nursing home’s administrator about these guidelines before deciding on a nursing home.  If you didn’t ask these questions before your loved one was admitted, find out the nursing home’s policy now.

4. Move your loved one to a different nursing home

If you don’t feel like these guidelines are strict enough, or you don’t like the facility’s response to this incident, you are always allowed to move your loved one to a different nursing home.  Check with the current nursing home to determine the easiest way to transfer your loved one.

5. Speak with an experienced Iowa nursing home abuse lawyer

It’s a good idea to speak with a qualified nursing home abuse attorney if you discover this has happened to your loved one.   Your loved one deserves to be treated with respect, and this behavior cannot and should not be tolerated.

Call RSH Legal at 1-319-774-1534 to speak with one of our Iowa nursing home attorneys today.

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