Nursing Home Raid Leads to Arrest of 4 Residents

Authorities have arrested four residents of a south suburban nursing home in a surprise raid.

The raid today at Burnham Healthcare in Burnham was part of a series of unannounced visits to nursing homes launched last year by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The effort is aimed at making nursing homes safer and has led to 42 arrests of residents and workers at nursing homes.

Investigators from Madigan's office and Burnham police arrested a 48-year-old for disorderly conduct, a 41-year-old for retail theft, a 55-year-old for possession of marijuana and a 38-year-old for trespassing.

An Illinois Department of Public Health website lists Burnham Healthcare as a facility that houses many younger residents with mental illnesses.

The arrests were based on Cook County arrest warrants.

Burnham Healthcare is among the facilities where the Tribune discovered serious problems in a 2009-2010 investigative series that examined the tide of assaults and safety breaches in nursing homes that admit younger mentally ill adults with violent police records.

One Tribune report detailed how 63-year-old Burnham resident Thomas Donovan died after alleged attacks.

The three-part Tribune investigation, called "Compromised Care," detailed cases in which elderly and disabled nursing home residents were allegedly assaulted, raped and even murdered by criminals also living in the facilities.