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& Flager Counties

Since 1985

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Q&A: Nursing Home Resident Safety

Is My Loved One Safe from Attack from Other Nursing Home Residents?

A:
A recent new law enacted in Illinois points up the importance of nursing homes evaluating both their nursing home residents and employees to determine whether or not they present a risk of violence for your loved one in a nursing home. The Illinois law beefs up existing criminal background check requirements relating to employees and requires psychological screening of nursing home residents to determine whether they are dangerous.

Nursing home workers in Florida must be investigated prior to employment to determine whether they have a criminal history. Unfortunately, nursing homes do not always do a good job making sure their employees are not dangerous. In addition to criminal history checks, nursing homes should be careful about obtaining written references from prior employers to determine whether or not dangerous behavior occurred at other nursing homes. We recommend you ask the nursing home administrator whether there has been a thorough background check including written references from past employers for any employees who will be caring for your loved one.

Further, in order to ensure that your loved one is safe from attacks by other residents, the nursing home administration should consistently evaluate nursing home residents to determine whether they are a risk for attacking other residents. In our practice, we have seen a number of instances in which nursing home residents were violent to other residents and the nursing home administration did not take prompt action to protect other residents. We recommend you ask the nursing home administration what their protocol is to protect other residents when a violent resident commits some type of dangerous act.


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