New legislation aimed at reducing Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect

Authorities are moving forward with proposals aimed at improving safety and reducing instances of neglect and abuse in Chicago nursing homes and nursing facilities elsewhere in Illinois.

The Chicago Tribune reports that 48th Ward. Ald. Mary Ann Smith introduced several proposals last week that would strengthen inspections of Chicago nursing homes, enhance enforcement and penalties and require nursing homes to provide more details to the public regarding their financial and safety records.

As reported recently on Abels & Annes’ Illinois Nursing Home Abuse blog, the state moved to close a Chicago nursing home amid neglect and abuse allegations. Meanwhile, the Tribune reports 1 in 4 sexual assaults in Chicago nursing homes go unreported or uninvestigated amid large numbers of convicted felons being housed in nursing homes in Illinois.

Smith’s proposal will now be considered by City Council’s Health Committee before being taken up by the full council.

Meanwhile the office of Gov. Pat Quinn has announced it will introduce legislation aimed at implementing the recommendations of the governor’s Nursing Home Safety Task Force.

The task force was formed in response to an investigative report by the Tribune, which examined reports of rapes, attacks and murders in nursing facilities that house elderly residents alongside violent offenders.

Among the proposals made by the task force are tightening background checks on new residents, increasing staffing and toughening sanctions against facilities with chronic safety issues. The task force has also recommended moving thousands of mentally ill residents into smaller settings with better treatment options.

Some lawmakers are concerned the reforms will not go far enough and have announced a separate proposal with the backing of a number of influential groups, including the AARP, Illinois Citizens for Better Care, and the trial lawyers association.


Nursing Home Resources

Advice on finding an Illinois nursing home through the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Reports of Illinois nursing homes with recent violations.

Rights of Illinois nursing home residents can be found in the Nursing Home Care Act.

If you are concerned about a Chicago nursing home, call the Illinois nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866)-99-ABELS.