A Boca Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Thinks Mixing Addicts and Seniors is a Bad Idea

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

Nursing homes must be careful who they admit to keep residents safe from potential harm by other residents says Boca nursing home abuse lawyer Joe Osborne.

Nursing homes are often desperate to get as much income as possible and sometimes that means admitting people who shouldn’t be there. With the closing of state facilities for those with serious psychiatric issues some of those who otherwise would be placed there end up in nursing homes instead. Other residents may be substance abusers supposedly getting treatment. Having such a mixed population in a nursing home can be a recipe for disaster if elderly patients are not kept safe from others who may pose a threat, says Boca nursing home abuse lawyer Joe Osborne. If you have concerns about potential abuse of a loved one by another resident, and would like to read more about nursing home neglect  read Ask Questions to Find the Right Nursing Home says Boca Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer.

One Illinois facility is an example of what can go wrong. As reported in the Chicago Tribune1, state and federal regulators are seeking to fine a Chicago nursing home more than $100,000 after five residents overdosed on heroin inside the facility earlier this year.

The Continental Nursing & Rehabilitation Center residents were hospitalized and recovered but at least two used heroin again hours after they returned, although they were supposed to be on close watch. One of them overdosed again. A sixth overdose was reported in 2015.

Continental is facing fines from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services totaling $76,000 and another $25,000 fine from the state public health department, which claims the facility failed to properly monitor and treat residents with drug addictions. Not surprisingly, Continental is contesting the fines.Continental, which had a mix of older residents, younger adults with mental illnesses and residents who are substance abusers, did not admit deficiencies when it stated what corrective actions it would take in response to the overdoses but stated that, "The facility has ceased admitting any residents with active substance use."

The 208 bed nursing home (which pulled in $11 million from Medicaid and Medicare last year) reported to Illinois officials in March that 108 of its residents were younger than 65, 129 had been diagnosed with mental illnesses and 29 had felony records. What can happen with this combination of residents?

  • Chicago police responded to sixty reports of alleged batteries at Continental from 2011 through 2015, according to a Tribune analysis of police data.
  • Police came to the Continental in October 2015 after residents told staff of drug abuse inside the facility. Staff searched rooms and found paraphernalia for cooking and shooting drugs that were turned over to police.
  • Police also came to the facility in 2014 after a 61-year-old patient (admitted for treatment of bipolar disorder, depression and alcohol abuse) broke his hips and suffered a collapsed lung after he tried to escape the facility by rappelling from a 4th floor window using six sheets tied together. The resident had been drinking before his escape attempt and a subsequent test showed he had a blood alcohol level over four times the legal limit. He was found on the ground with a broken glass bottle and a beer can beside him.

Continental is part of an Indiana based company with over fifty nursing home facilities in eight states.

If a long term care facility can’t provide proper care for someone, that person should not be admitted. If such a person is younger, mentally ill and/or is using drugs the nursing home is under a duty not only to keep that person safe but all the other residents who may suffer injuries caused by such a person, reports nursing home neglect attorney Osborne. Nursing home facilities trying to profit from as wide a range of residents as possible without proper programs, management and staffing are asking for trouble for themselves and their residents.

If you or a loved one have suffered an injury caused by a fellow resident of a nursing home in the South Florida area, contact Boca nursing home abuse lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 293-2600 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss your case, how the law may apply and your best legal options to protect your rights and obtain compensation for your loved one’s injuries.


  1. www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-continental-nursing-met-20161113-story.html

J. Davis

5 star icon

“I couldn’t have asked for a better lawyer/ firm — everything was done professionally exactly how I wanted. Due to COVID my personal attorney Mr. Garcia was still able to make things work in a timely manner and he never made me feel like he wasn’t working. Overall I’m happy with how my case turned out and I would recommend him and this law firm to anyone. 100% satisfied.”

C. Smith

5 star icon

“I am so thankful for EVERYONE, the entire staff at Osborne & Francis Law, for mentoring me through the mediation process with my hip replacement failures. I didn't realize how MUCH pressure they relieved me of by helping me deal with the reality of this traumatic time in my life, as it was OVER so quickly with a positive result. My family is grateful to have their mom HAPPY & FOCUSED on the future, rather than worrying over what happened in the past! FAST FORWARD, we are LIVING LIFE to the fullest once again!”

E. Holland

5 star icon

Dennis and the other Osborne & Francis staff were amazing! Our case was HUGE and required tender loving care. Everyone on our case did their part by putting all the puzzle pieces together. We were given step by step updates and put at ease when our nerves got the best of us. For every inquiry we made we received a timely response...You are appreciated!

T. Andrews

5 star icon

“Attorneys Greg Francis and Ryan Fletcher at Osborne & Francis Law Firm represented me in my personal injury case.The defendant drew a line in the sand and was adamant on a settlement amount I was almost willing to accept. After the dust settled and the smoke cleared, we settled for 3 times that amount!!! When they say ‘Real Tough Lawyers,’ they mean it.”

Erica F.

5 star icon

"Best personal injury attorney around, I could not be happier! I was seriously injured in a car accident and Osborne and Francis helped me through the entire process. I was blown away by how knowledgeable the staff and attorneys are at this incredible law firm. I would not hesitate to recommend this law firm to friends and family!"


5 star icon

Quick and fair resolution to a unique case. On advice of my own attorney, I engaged Joseph Osborne of Osborne & Francis of Boca Raton, FL. Mr. Osborne had considerable experience in cases such as mine and the results showed that. Mr. Osborne and his staff were very helpful, kept me up to date, and listened to my input. The settlement was very fair as far as I am concerned.

Ready For Your Free Consultation?

Please Fill Out Our Form Below For Your Free Consultation

Hiring a lawyer is the first step towards recovering a better quality of life. At Osborne & Francis, we devote our undivided attention to each client, and all communications are held in the strictest privacy. Contact us by filling out the form or calling us directly at (561) 293-2600.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.