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Mentally Ill Threaten Elderly in Nursing Homes

Over the past several years, nursing homes have seen an increase in young and middle-age people with mental illness. This increase in mentally ill patients has also increased the amount of elderly violence in nursing homes. One such incident at All Faith Pavilion in Chicago’s South Side involved Ivory Jackson, a 77-year-old man with Alzheimer’s who was smashed in the face with a clock radio as he lay in his bed. The man who killed Mr. Jackson was a mentally ill man thirty years his younger.

What has occurred is that younger, stronger residents with schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder are now living beside frail elderly residents and they have been taking their rage out on them. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services show that nearly 125,000 young and middle-aged adults are living with serious mental illnesses in U.S. nursing homes, which is a 41 percent increase from 2002. There are several forces behind the trend including the closing of state mental institutions and a shortage of hospital psychiatric beds. Due to these great increases in numbers, numerous incidents have occurred. Gaps in the employee staff training leave the nursing homes inept at handling the delusions and aggression of the mentally ill, which makes it difficult on the elderly residents.

The attorneys at Levin & Perconti have worked on a number of cases involving sexual or physical abuse of nursing home residents. W are currently involved in a similar case against East Peoria Gardens in East Peoria, IL. Our attorneys represent the family of a woman who fell at the home as a result of improper supervision and died a week later from her injuries. The case alleges that as a result of the owners’ decision to mix an elderly population with younger mentally ill resident, a situation was created where the elderly residents and the staff were in fear for their own safety. To read more about this nursing home lawsuit, follow the link.

To read more about the increase in elderly physical abuse, please click here.