Sunday, July 27, 2008
No one was required to tell McDaniel that the 43-year-old sex offender was a resident of the nursing home where his daughter was admitted in 2005 because she is mentally retarded and has schizophrenia. The resident who attacked her pleaded guilty and is serving three years in prison.
His daughter's case led to an Ohio legislative proposal to require nursing homes to post notices if sex offenders live there. The bill has been adopted by the Ohio House and awaits a Senate hearing.
Every state, McDaniel says, should require facilities to "tell people if there is a sex offender in this nursing home."
Ohio is one of several places reviewing notification procedures for sex offenders living in long-term care facilities. The issue is drawing attention as overall nursing home populations drop and some facilities see an influx of residents with mental illnesses, says Beverley Laubert, president of the National Association of State Long Term Care Ombudsman Programs, which help protect patient rights. While the majority of nursing home residents are older than 65, it's not unusual for younger people with medical problems to live in long-term care. [Mark Godsey]