Saturday, December 1, 2007

Nursing home abuse on the rise, background check may save your loved ones.

(CBS) She loved to cook. Thanksgiving was her favorite.

When her mother developed severe dementia, Sandra Banning was forced to take the painful step of putting her in a nursing home.

"It was like taking your best friend and just saying, 'I'm sorry I have to do this,'" says Banning.

She thought her mother, Virginia Thurston, would be safe at Southwood Nursing Center, until the night she was sexually assaulted by another resident: 83-year-old Ivy Edwards, as CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales reports.

"He had taken his wheelchair and lodged it up underneath the door so no one would interrupt him," says Banning.

She had to take her 77-year-old mother to be tested for sexual assault.

"Tears were rolling out of the corners of her eyes," says Banning.

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