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Report: Nursing Home Didn’t Report Fight That Later Led To Death

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OAK PARK, Ill. (CBS) — A published report says an Oak Park nursing home failed to report a fight between two residents that left an Alzheimer’s patient dead earlier this week.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports, Anibal Calderon, 80, died of head injuries that might have stemmed from a fight with another resident at the Oak Park Healthcare Center, at 625 N. Harlem Ave. in Oak Park.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Conway reports

A nurse found the man unconscious Sunday night in the nursing home’s Alzheimer’s and dementia ward. He was taken to Rush Oak Park Hospital and later transferred to Rush University Medical Center, where he died early Tuesday.

Police believe another resident at the nursing home, a 66-year-old man, beat Calderon in the head with something after an argument.

Now, the Chicago Tribune reports the nursing home failed to report the fight immediately to the Illinois Department of Public Health, local police, and Calderon’s family – as required by law.

The Department of Public Health has no record of being notified by the nursing home, the Tribune reported.

The for-profit, which is owned by the firm Sherwin Ray, was previously fined $10,000 in 2002 for not getting emergency care quickly enough to a patient who was suffering seizures, the Tribune reported. Three years later, the facility was fined $10,000 again over a patient whose legs had to be amputated when maggots were found in the patient’s wounds, the newspaper reported.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) says Calderon’s beating death underscores the urgency of legislation she’s pushing in Springfield.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

She said the state has already adopted tougher restrictions requiring nursing homes to be more fully staffed, but right now about one in three nursing home residents lives in an illegally understaffed facility.

“They’re not meeting today’s standards. They’re not operating under the current law,” Cassidy said.

Her proposal would step up enforcement, increase transparency, require nursing homes to have liability insurance, and close loopholes that allow shady operators to stay in business.

“When they do run into a problem and they are sued or they are caught, they just close down and reopen under another name. They just shuffle through shell companies,” she said.

Cassidy’s measure was in the works before Calderon’s death, but she said it draws attention to the problems she is trying to fix.

Meanwhile, the man who allegedly attacked Calderon is now hospitalized, the Tribune reported.

Police tell the Tribune there is also no indication that the alleged attacker was involved in any previous violent acts, but they did confirm the man has a criminal background.

An autopsy on Tuesday determined Calderon died from craniocerebral injuries and blunt trauma from an assault. The death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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