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Sunday, December 8, 2013
Gowrie Care Center fine spurs discussion
The reported presence of a sex offender in another area nursing home has a pair of local lawmakers vowing to find more secure ways to house such individuals.
But state Rep. Helen Miller, D-Fort Dodge, said Saturday morning that a push from the public will be necessary to get the job done.
''If you want something done about it, you need to get engaged and make it happen,'' she said during an Eggs and Issues forum.
The secure housing of elderly sex offenders became a topic of discussion at the forum in the wake of a published report that the Gowrie Care Center was fined $2,150 by the federal government for failing to properly supervise such an individual.
Dale Gould, the administrator of the care center, declined to talk about the situation when contacted by phone late Saturday morning.
''My instructions, sir, are that I cannot comment on that,'' he said.
The fine was reportedly levied by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Efforts to reach a spokesperson for that agency were unsuccessful Saturday.
The Gowrie incident, which reportedly involved an 86-year-old man who has three sex crime convictions, marks the second time that a sex offender was reported to be in a local nursing home. In 2011, William Cubbage, a sex offender who was then 83, allegedly raped a 95-year-old woman in the Pomeroy Care Center, where both he and the woman lived.
Posted by eAdvocate at 2:06 AM
Saturday, December 7, 2013
The Gowrie nursing home has been cited twice in 3 months for failing to protect residents.
A central Iowa nursing home has been fined for failing to protect residents from a registered sex offender for the second time in three months.
Eighty-year-old sex offender John Steinkamp was found in bed with another resident at the Gowrie Care Center on Sept. 27 — and that resident alleged the two had just engaged in some type of sexual activity.
That incident prompted the the federal government’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to impose a fine of $50 for each day the Gowrie Care Center failed to comply with health and safety regulations related to its supervision of Steinkamp. The daily fine was lifted Nov. 18, resulting in a total penalty of $2,150.
The home’s owner, Bruce H. Mehlhop of Johnston’s Signature Care Centers, said the incident involving Steinkamp “did not result in any actual harm or negative outcome to any residents of the facility.”
He said Gowrie Care Center has “implemented additional procedures” to come into compliance with minimum care standards for its 30 residents.
Iowa policymakers have been struggling with the issue of sex offenders in care facilities since 2011, when The Des Moines Register started reporting on problems related to the 42 offenders living in Iowa’s care facilities for the elderly and disabled.
Steinkamp has lived at the Gowrie Care Center since February 2011. He has three convictions for lascivious acts with children, the most recent from 2008.
State records show that earlier this year the home updated Steinkamp’s care plan to include staff awareness of his whereabouts at all times. The plan also called for an alarm on the door to his room, so the staff would know when he left.
A separate “Sex Offender Safety Plan” called for 30-minute status checks on his location in the home.
But in August, state inspectors visited the home and watched as Steinkamp observed and then moved toward a visiting child who was in the home playing catch with a staffer.
The inspector intervened and the state then imposed a $500 fine for failing to follow its safety plan.
Posted by eAdvocate at 8:27 AM
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
In 2012, Jon Carpenter filed 257 lawsuits in L.A. County — more lawsuits than there were court days — under the Americans With Disabilities Act, a civil rights law intended to give disabled people the same access to places that everyone has.
The spree left small businesses all over the Southland scratching their heads. What was this law? And who was Carpenter?
A basic records search by L.A. Weekly shows that 2012 was a prolific but not atypical year — the 47-year-old quadriplegic has filed nearly 1,000 lawsuits in L.A. County alone, and is believed to have reaped a sizable but unknown amount of cash.
But now, lawyers representing businesses sued by Carpenter have unearthed the man's sordid past: He is a convicted child molester from Utah, who was set free after serving less than two days of a one- to- 15-year sentence.
How he got out of jail made the lawyers' skin prickle.
Stephen Abraham, a defense attorney representing restaurants and others Carpenter sues, says, "He's a destructive contradiction. This is someone for whom the law only goes one way — his way."
Documents obtained by the Weekly show that in the 1980s, Carpenter was arrested on multiple counts of aggravated sexual abuse and charged with molesting two 8-year-old girls. His victims tell the Weekly that Carpenter, then 24, was a Sunday school teacher at a Mormon church in Provo County.
"He had sexually abused several kids," Sharon Davis of Salt Lake City alleges. "I do know [about] other kids. It happened to me."
Posted by eAdvocate at 9:14 PM
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
In separate decisions, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of two lawsuits filed by disabled state prisoners, finding that the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) may have violated their rights under the Rehabilitation Act (RA), while skirting claims raised under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In May 2010, Phillip E. Jaros was sent to the Vandalia Correctional Center (VCC) to serve a two-year sentence for driving on a suspended license.
Medical records indicated that Jaros suffered from several serious physical ailments, including advanced osteoarthritis and vascular necrosis in his right hip. He required a cane to walk, and walking for more than a few minutes made him tired. He suffered chronic, severe pain whether walking, sitting, standing or lying down. Private physicians had recommended a hip replacement.
VCC was not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and lacked grab bars for the physically disabled near toilets and in showers and walkways. Two days after his arrival at VCC, Jaros told Teanah Harter, a grievance coordinator, that he required such accommodations. She conceded that VCC was not ADA compliant but told Jaros “to just deal with it,” because the prison’s administrators “did not do” medical transfers. Harter recommended that the warden deny a grievance filed by Jaros on the grounds that he could not be transferred as he had less than a year left to serve.
VCC’s failure to accommodate Jaros’ disability caused him to miss some meals because he could not walk fast enough to the cafeteria. He also limited himself to four showers a month out of fear that he would fall. Further, he alleged he was not approved for work release due to a “medical hold” placed in his file due to his disability.
Posted by eAdvocate at 4:04 PM
Friday, November 22, 2013
Nursing home neglect and abuse have become regular occurrences. When you place your elder loved ones in assisted living facilities you never really know how they will be treated. Thankfully, there are laws that can now protect our Grannys (grandparents) who reside in nursing homes.
Oklahoma has become the third state to pass “Granny cam” laws. According to the law, surveillance cameras may be used in nursing homes in Oklahoma as long as consent forms are filed that notify the facility of such use.
Moreover, “Granny cam” laws allow the families, who place the hidden cameras in the nursing home residents’ rooms, to have exclusive rights to the recording as well as use the recordings in court.
States That Have Enacted "Granny Cam" Laws
In addition to Oklahoma, the other states that allow hidden cameras in nursing home residents’ rooms include the following states: New Mexico and Texas. ..Source.. by Ani Barsamian, JD
Posted by eAdvocate at 5:35 AM
Saturday, October 19, 2013
A filmmaker with multiple sclerosis hopes an app he developed will help fellow wheelchair users make cities like New York more accessible.
For most people, meeting friends for dinner at a new restaurant, jumping into a taxi or going out for a shopping trip shouldn't require too much advanced planning. Just show up and walk in.
But as Jason DaSilva discovered, these simple actions that he took for granted for the first 25 years of his life harbored hidden obstacles that made them nearly impossible to perform in a wheelchair.
Steps, narrow doorways, cracked sidewalks and impossibly long ramps were only some of the barriers he encountered as he tried to navigate New York City, where he lives, from a chair. Most of the subway system is out of reach, since not all stations have elevators. And not all taxis are equipped to load wheelchairs either.
Frustrated by his inability to move around as freely as he liked, DaSilva developed AXS Map — a crowdsourcing platform that allows people around the world to rate businesses for accessibility and, most important, to share that information.
Because while the Americans With Disabilities Act, enacted by Congress in 1990, mandated that buildings and other facilities become more accessible to those with disabilities, DaSilva found huge variability in how well the law was executed.
Beyond that, many buildings constructed before 1990 are exempt from the regulations. AXS Map isn't intended to rate the extent to which a structure is ADA-compliant; it simply serves as a tool for people with mobility issues to find out which businesses in their community are actually accessible, and to what degree.
Launched in 2012 as a website and mobile Web app, AXS Map is powered by Google Maps. Both of the current iterations allow the user to rate several features of local businesses for accessibility, which are tallied into an overall star rating.
Much like Yelp and other crowdsourcing platforms, the more data that users contribute, the more useful the app will become. Also like Yelp, with more ratings, the most positive or negative reviews are canceled out so users end up with a solid core of realistic reviews.
"I think it's critically important that people like Jason are getting involved and creating change in their own right. It is the only way that this effort will be successful," says Mark Perriello, president and CEO of the American Association of People With Disabilities.
"You see a lot of innovation by people with disabilities ... but the number of people who are participating and changing the future, changing their own future by changing society, is far too few."
Posted by eAdvocate at 2:30 AM
Friday, October 4, 2013
Topics: Issue - Death
It is an age-old question: will humankind ever defeat old age?
Plenty of skin care companies would like us to believe so. And now, the multinational tech giant Google would like us to think it might be possible too.
Last month Google announced a new medical company called Calico, whose explicit aim is to take on aging itself. But what will Google's approach be? And what other research into prolonging life already exists?
With its proliferation of businesses, products and services, it would be easy to forget that not so very long ago Google was just a search engine. Today, offshoots of the sprawling global corporation can be found researching self-driving cars, developing their own smart phones and tablets and even launching giant balloons into near space.
Amid this growing portfolio of diffuse interests and initiatives has been added their latest company: Calico.
Calico -- or the California Life Company -- has been set up to research subjects related to aging and its associated diseases. Announcing Calico at a media briefing, Google said that the new and independent company will largely focus on age-attendant conditions such as Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease.
Larry Page, Google's ever youthful CEO said: "Illness and aging affect all our families. With some longer term, moonshot thinking around healthcare and biotechnology, I believe we can improve millions of lives."
But the question is, what will Calico actually do? At the moment the company isn't giving much detail away: "(Incoming CEO Arthur Levinson) and I are excited about tackling aging and illness," Page wrote in his Google+ blog post. But repeated requests from CNN to interview either Page or Levinson were politely declined. ..Long Article w/many parts..CLICK.. by Arion McNicoll
Posted by eAdvocate at 5:44 AM