Family sues Chicago Nursing home for abuse in sexual assault case

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The family of a 69-year-old woman has filed a nursing home abuse lawsuit, alledging a Chicago nursing home failed to protect her from being sexually assaulted by a 21-year-old mentally ill resident.

The Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Abels & Annes want to remind those faced with placing a loved one under care of a facility to know there are resources available to you. Click here for advice on finding an Illinois nursing home through the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And click here for reports of Illinois nursing homes with recent violations.

An Associated Press analysis earlier this year found U.S. nursing homes have become a dumping grounds for young and middle-age people with mental illness. And Illinois ranked highest among the states in the number of mentally ill adults under age 65 living in nursing homes — more than 12,000.

Elderly abuse and neglect will continue to be an issue as the Baby Boomer population ages. Of those over 65 in 1990, nearly half (43 percent) will spend time in these facilities, according to federal statistics.

In this case, the lawsuit accuses Maplewood Care’s administrator of attempting to cover up a rape by calling it consensual sex, according to the Associated Press article.

An executive with the home’s parent company, which operates seven other Chicago-area nursing facilities, declined comment according to the Associated Press. The civil lawsuit claims the woman’s family was not told the nursing home had admitted young adult residents “with a history of violent and aggressive criminal behaviors.”

The Agency for Health Care Administration reports the average cost of a nursing home in Chicago was $165 a day in 2000 and has steadily increased since then. Nationwide, there are 1.8 million nursing home beds in 17,000 facilities.

Nursing home operators have a duty to provide a safe, secure environment for their clients. But residents and those looking to place a loved one need to keep in mind that elder care is also big business. More than half the nation’s nursing homes are part of a chain of facilities and two-thirds are operated for profit.

The rights and responsibilities of nursing homes and residents, as well as enforcement, violation and penalty and remedy information are outlined in the Nursing Home Care Act as passed by the Illinois General Assembly.

If you are concerned that a loved one in a Chicago elder-care facility is suffering from nursing home neglect or abuse, the personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Abels & Annes offer free appointments to discuss your rights. There is not fee unless you win.