Chicago Nursing Homes House Seniors Alongside Felons, Substance Abusers

A November opinion piece from Crain’s Chicago Business highlights a common practice among nursing homes: Placing elderly residents in the same facility as those with psychiatric disorders and felony convictions. This practice, while not new, has recently come to light after Continental Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Chicago was fined by the Illinois Department of Public Health after five residents overdosed on heroin in just one month.

A Common but Inexcusable Occurrence

Every year, over 2,000 cases of resident-to-resident abuse are alleged in the U.S. alone.

In the United States, 15 percent of nursing home residents are under age 65, and it is this difference in age that allows nursing homes to turn into hostile environments for residents. The age difference also requires nursing home staff to be trained in the treatment of residents with health issues relating to younger patients, elderly patients, those with mental health disorders and those with substance abuse disorders, a wide scope of practice for those with already large patient volumes.

Despite this practice, the author says that nursing home staff should not be excused from providing quality care to their residents. The author also believes that policies should be put in place that restrict the allowance of admitting young residents to nursing homes intended for the elderly and that punishments beyond minimal fines should be enforced to send a message to the $353 billion nursing home industry that America’s elderly do not deserve substandard care.


Our attorneys believe a safe environment that provides dedicated care is the right of every nursing home resident. If you believe that you or a family member are in a potentially unsafe facility, please call the skilled legal team at Levin & Perconti for a free consultation.


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