Who is living in the nursing home near your Grandmom? Kind and gracious elderly people who may need assistance? Yes, probably. Patients with aggressive tendancies because of dementia, head injury or prior aggression issues? Yes, likely.
What about convicted felons and sex offenders? Do they live on Grandma’s hall?

According to the Chicago Tribune, the answer to the last question is also “yes, probably.”

Tribune reporters Gary Marx and David Jackson write:

An elderly woman is raped in her room, and police arrest a 21-year-old ex-convict with acute psychiatric problems. When the victim is interviewed by investigators five days later, she shakes with fear.

A frail man blind in one eye is slashed in the throat by a gang member, police say. About a year earlier, the same assailant allegedly had stabbed him in the face with an ice pick.

A man in a wheelchair dies of head injuries so severe that his doctor says it looked like he was hit with a baseball bat. One of the suspects is a 24-year-old mentally ill woman with a history of drug use and prostitution.

These incidents didn’t happen on a street corner, in an alley or inside a drug house.

They all took place inside Illinois nursing homes in the last 17 months, highlighting a new, volatile environment in some facilities where the elderly and sick expect a measure of care and peace.

More than any other state, Illinois relies heavily on nursing homes to house mentally ill patients, including those who have committed crimes. But a Tribune investigation found that government, law enforcement and the industry have failed to adequately manage the resulting influx of younger residents who shuttle into nursing facilities from jail cells, shelters and psychiatric wards.

Mentally ill patients now constitute more than 15 percent of the state’s total nursing home population of 92,225, government records show, and the number of residents convicted of serious felonies has increased to 3,000. Among them are 82 convicted murderers, 179 sex offenders and 185 armed robbers.

It happens folks. Residents are assaulted and abused by other residents (even same sex), staff, guests etc. And is the nursing home to blame? I think so – but good luck proving the nursing home should have known the resident in bed 1 had grouping tendancies..

Know who is there – do your own investigations and if something isn’t right – MOVE YOUR LOVED ONE ASAP.

About the author

Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at

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