An Illinois nursing home has been sued for its failure to stop resident-on-resident abuse. Sadly, this was not the only alleged incident of this type of nursing home abuse at the Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.
The nursing home is being blamed for failing to stop residents from abusing other residents, according to claims made in the lawsuit filed yesterday, said The Herald Times. William A. Kahle’s family is suing the owners of the nursing home.
Kahle, 47, had been a resident at the home for over a year in September 2011 when another resident allegedly burned him. The nursing home never reported the incident to the Department of Public Health.
Kahle’s father, William W. Kahle, filed the complaint with the Department of Public Health, which reportedly discovered that another resident there was responsible for assaulting about two-dozen other residents, said The Herald Times.
Kahle’s attorney indicated that the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) revealed that a 26-year-old man diagnosed with both bipolar disorder and ADHD had abused—sexually, physically, or mentally—some 23 other residents from May to October, wrote The Herald Times.
The man allegedly exposed himself, urinated on a resident, used illicit drugs while on the premises, and sexually abused male and female residents, Kahle’s attorney told The Herald Times. The man also threatened to harm his victims, promising to “come back with a gun” if victims reported his crimes.
Kahle’s attorney stated that the nursing home should have worked to prevent the man from “terrorizing and abusing other residents,” and was faulted for failing to report the abuse to the IDPH, according to The Herald Times.
The IDPH said the resident was moved to Hillcrest in May 2011 after he had exhibited aggressive behaviors and threatened both residents and staff at a nursing home where he had previously lived.
It seems that Hillcrest settled an earlier lawsuit with the family of a man who died following reports of negligence in November 1999. In March 2001, Christopher Matejka and Jason Richey—both patients at Hillcrest—used passes to leave the grounds. They beat and stabbed Henri “Jay” Baker to death in his apartment, said The Herald Times.
We’ve long been following the issue of nursing home abuse, a devastating indignity against these vulnerable members of society on all levels: Physical, emotional, chemical, financial, and sexual. Neglect, abuse, mocking, and even workers who have abused residents as part of pranks against each other are becoming more and more commonplace.
Now, residents abusing residents are among the growing types of abuse rendered on our most fragile citizens. A frightening phenomena given that we often have no choice but to place our relatives in the care of others.
Sadly, families are left with limited options as reports of nursing home abuse continue to rise. Yet, despite ongoing headline-making news concerning abuse of the elderly, the abuse continues.