Of course not, you say with conviction. The nursing home where my mother, father, husband, wife, etc. live would never let those types of people into the home. It wouldn’t be safe would it?

That is probably what the families of residents of two Chicago area nursing homes were saying as well…at least until this week. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that federal, state and county officials swept two Chicago-area nursing homes Tuesday for felons with outstanding arrest warrants and identified 18 residents wanted on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to burglary to assault.

Think this might just be an isolated problem at a couple of nursing homes? Think again. The Chicago Tribune reported last month that Illinois State Police once ran similar sweeps of nursing homes for felons with outstanding warrants and unregistered sex offenders. From January 2005 through June 2006, when 20 northern Illinois nursing homes were swept and roughly 80 fugitives and sex offenders removed, state police in that region recorded a nearly 67 percent decrease in nursing home abuse and neglect complaints, according to a department citation issued to the sweeps unit.

My Question: Can someone from the long-term care industry (and I know you read our blog) tell me why this is acceptable? Isn’t a nursing home’s first responsibility to provide a safe and caring environment for its residents?

Dan Frith
Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at