February 17, 2012

Illinois Nursing Home Attack At Oak Park Healthcare Center After Physical Assault

by Levin & Perconti

Our Illinois nursing home lawyers were saddened today to learn of the death of a resident at the Oak Park Healthcare Center. As reported by CBS Local News, an 80-year old man with Alzheimer’s disease was brutally beaten to death at the facility on Tuesday. Amazingly, it seems that the alleged attacker was another resident at the home.

Of course investigations into the tragedy are on-going to figure out exactly what led up to the tragedy at the local long-term care facility on Harlem Avenue in Oak Park. At this point, we know that the victim, Anibal Calderon, was found by a nurse on Sunday night at the facility. Mr. Calderon lived in the facility’s Alzheimer’s and dementia ward. When the nurse in the ward found him, he was unconscious. Emergency responders were called and he was rushed a local Oak Park hospital. He was eventually transferred to Rush University Medical Center. However, his injuries ultimately proved to be too severe, and he passed away on Tuesday.

Investigations over the last few days have uncovered evidence which suggests that Mr. Calderon may have been attacked by another resident. In particular, a 66-year old fellow resident may have hit the victim over the head with some heavy object. At this point authorities believe that the two residents likely got into some sort of argument which escalated to the point that the physical attack occurred. This suspected series of events was verified by the results of an autopsy report that were recently released. The autopsy specifically found that the man died of craniocerebral injuries and blunt trauma caused by an assault. The county’s medical examiner’s office has ruled the death a homicide. So far representatives from the nursing home have not commented on the matter.

Our hearts go out to Mr. Calderon’s family members who are forced to deal with this completely unacceptable series of events. As Illinois nursing home neglect lawyers in the Chicago area, we are well aware of the ways that inadequate supervision and cut-corners at some of these long-term care facilities leads to preventable deaths like the one here. The residents in these homes, particularly those with certain cognitive ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, live in the facility specifically to prevent dangerous situations like this one.

It is imperative that a complete investigation be conducted surrounding this event to learn exactly what happened. Many questions need to be answered by the nursing home staff members and administrators about the goings-on at this facility to determine what went wrong. Were the residents monitored in an appropriate fashion? Were there warning signs about the aggression of the attacking resident? How did the attack occur without staff members notice? How long did Mr. Calderon lay unconscious before he was found? These and many other issues have to be addressed to ensure that fair redress is provided and accountability is had. That is the only way that lessons can be learned from this tragedy and future residents at this home can be spared similar incidents. This sort of nursing home neglect can never be acceptable.

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