Nursing Home Reform in Illinois
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect - July 16, 2013
Nursing Home Rights
How Can I Make Nursing Home Care Reform Better in Illinois?
Legislation reform is one of the primary ways to respond to the inadequate care practices of nursing homes. The treatment of residents will likely improve substantially if the federal and state regulations are responsive to abusive and neglectful behavior occurring on a day to day basis in long-term care facilities.
Illinois Citizens for Better Care is a leading organization whose efforts strive to improve the quality of nursing home care in Illinois. It played a considerable role in advocating for the passage of the 1979 Illinois Nursing Home Reform Act.
At present, efforts to continue reform legislation in the nursing home industry have steadily increased; however, the need for reform is constant. The ICBC has pushed for restrictions on using physical restraints on residents and limits on the administering of psychotropic drugs to residents. It advocated for requiring air-conditioning in long-term care facilities, which became a requirement for nursing homes in Chicago.
In 2010, a nursing home reform law was passed. One major highlight of the reform was a condition that increased nursing home staffing requirements. By January 1, 2014, nursing homes will be required to have enough licensed staff and certified nursing assistances to provide 3.8 hours of care for every resident needing skilled care. This is twice the amount of the previous requirement. Much of the 2011 reform law incorporated the existing rules within the 2010 reform.
While the 2010 and 2011 reform laws are steps in the right direction, state regulations for long-term care facilities have room to improve. Legislators benefit from hearing opinions from their constituents.
Be An Advocate, Let Your Voice Be Heard
Let your voice be heard! You can make changes to nursing home reform efforts in Illinois by becoming an advocate and contacting your legislator. The Illinois Citizens for Better Care explains how to contact your legislator and go about discussing the issue you would like address in a bill. These contacts can be made by phone, email, letters, and in-person meetings.
Visit the Illinois Citizens for Better Care website to learn more about becoming an advocate for residents of nursing homes. You can make a difference in the life of an elderly resident in a nursing home so that he or she can live a happier, healthier life.