AARP Eye Center
Illinois mixing nursing homes with mentally ill?
By Alejandra Owens, October 1, 2009 05:08 PM
There is a really disturbing article by the Chicago Tribune about how Illinois has relied heavily on nursing homes to house mentally ill patients. As expected, the result has been numerous crimes committed against the older people living in these homes.
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.
Homes for older adults are supposed to just that: homes. Sharing a living space that is supposed to be a safe haven with individuals (while I'm sure many are not dangerous) who may be harmful or disruptive to a way of living that is supposed to be anything but that.