The American Bar Association Journal reported this week on a tragic nursing home death. Police are continuing to investigate the murder of a 70-year old resident at the Cambria Care Center after an attack by a fellow resident.
According to reports, the nursing home victim was found in a pool of blood on the floor of the facility. The 78-year old aggressor was another resident at the nursing home-he suffers from dementia. Nursing home employees discovered the attacker standing over the bleeding man slamming a door into the victim’s head. They pulled the man away and called for emergency medical help. However, there was little that could be done and the victim was pronounced dead shortly after.
The attacker may be charged with murder following the incident. Mental health professionals are still evaluating the man to determine if he is competent to stand trials for his actions. One factor in the decision is the fact that a murder charge would qualify the man to enter a long-term mental health facility for more close treatment.
The attack has only recently occurred, so it is unclear if the family of the victim plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The steps that could or should have been taken by the nursing home to prevent the attack are as yet unknown.
Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti are well aware of the unique challenges of working with resident with dementia. Notwithstanding aggression against other residents, these residents are at particular risk for injury. For example, many seniors suffering from mental ailments are susceptible to nursing home wandering. When these residents are unsupervised or their environment is not properly managed, the risk of leaving the facility unnoticed is high. An endless array of dangers faces these seniors when they leave the facility. They could fall victim to the elements and exposure or otherwise be taken advantage of by predators. It is vital that nursing homes ensure that these situations are guarded against.
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