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Nursing Homes, The Mentally Ill And Violence – As America Ages Problems Arise

In what is being reported as a Chicago example of a growing trend nationwide, a 77 year old man south-side nursing home resident was killed by his 50 year-old mentally ill roommate.  Over the past several years nursing homes have become common places to put mentally ill adults who have nowhere else to go.  The unfortunate problem is that most nursing home facilities are not staffed with care givers who have the appropriate skill sets necessary to deal with mentally ill, and often violent, patients.

Illinois ranks first nationwide in the number of mentally ill patients under the age of 65 who live in nursing or assisted care facilities.

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When a nursing home assumes the care of an elderly or infirm patient they owe him or her the obligation to provide a safe and nurturing living environment.  We have seen an uptick in these types of cases in our own practice and are concerned that this is a growing trend that will effect Chicago’s elderly as the projected elderly population in america grows over the next many years.