Caring for aging Americans is getting more complicated. Some states are discussing the wisdom of mixing aging inmates with general nursing home populations. Last month, a bill was introduced in the Iowa legislature to prevent sexual abuse in nursing homes. According to The Daily Iowan [the daily newspaper for the University of Iowa], the state is grappling with the problem of aging sex offenders. As of January, there are 5,821 registered sexual offenders in the state.
From there, the discussion has evolved into creating care facilities dedicated to sexual offenders. The Iowa Department of Human Services acknowledges that its Mental Health and Disabilities Services would have to make services available to meet the offender’s level-of-care needs.
The article goes on to report that Andy Mass, administrator of Briarwood Health Care Center, said that there are people in society who aren’t appropriate for a nursing facility or a dementia unit. While he understands the problem, he said he must protect his residents and would not admit a sexual offender to his facility.
At present, no dedicated sexual offender care facility exists. The bill would also require that residents be notified if a sex offender lives in their facility.