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An Overview of the Nursing Home Care Act

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Cook County nursing home neglect and abuse lawyerSometimes, nursing home abuse and neglect goes unaddressed because residents and their families simply do not know what rights a nursing home resident has. Several federal and state laws were designed to prevent the mistreatment of nursing home residents and those staying in other long-term care facilities. The Nursing Home Care Act was created with the purpose of preventing elderly and disabled individuals from receiving substandard care in a nursing home.

This statute reinforces the rights that every Illinois citizen enjoys and confirms that nursing home patients cannot be denied any of these rights. Additionally, the Nursing Home Care Act establishes further instructions as to how nursing homes in Illinois are to operate and how nursing home staff must treat residents. If your elderly or ill loved one currently lives in an skilled nursing facility or a nursing home, read on to learn about his important piece of legislation. 

Defining Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Anyone staying in a nursing home has the right to be free from abuse or neglect. Abuse generally refers to intentionally harmful actions while neglect most often refers to negligence and carelessness. More specifically, the Nursing Home Care Act gives residents the right to:

  • Meet or speak with a lawyer or social worker: Residents of a nursing home cannot be denied the chance to receive counsel from an attorney or social worker;
  • Remain unrestrained unless absolutely necessary: Sometimes a nursing home resident must be restrained so that they will not hurt themselves or another person. However, this restraint must only be used for a verified medical reason and when absolutely necessary. Furthermore, only a physician can order the use of any chemical or physical restraints;
  • Keep their own money: Due to the nature of many resident’s illnesses, money must be handled very carefully in a nursing facility. Residents may not always have immediate access to their own money, but the home is explicitly prohibited from spending a resident’s funds without proper authorization;
  • Have access to their personal property: Nursing home staff should not take or withhold a resident’s personal property. However, if there is a legitimate medical reason that a resident cannot wear something or access an item, they may be prevented from doing so;
  • Participate in their religion: Nursing homes cannot prevent a resident from expressing his or her religious freedom;
  • Access their medical records: Individuals staying in a nursing home have a legal right to read their medical records and be informed of the medical treatments they are undergoing;
  • Refuse medical treatment: Nursing home residents may choose not to participate in certain medical interventions;
  • Choose their own doctor: Nursing home residents cannot be denied an opportunity to see their chosen physician;
  • Communicate with loved ones: A nursing home resident cannot be denied access to mail and phone calls; and
  • Meet with loved ones and other visitors: Nursing home residents cannot be denied visitation unless there is a verifiable medical reason for restricting visitation.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Abuse Injury Attorney

If your aging or ill loved one has been mistreated in an assisted living center or nursing home, contact an experienced Chicago IL nursing home neglect and abuse lawyer. Schedule your free confidential  consultation with Schwartz Injury Law by calling us today at 312-535-4625.

 

Sources:

http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/health-care-regulation/nursing-homes

https://www.illinoislegalaid.org/legal-information/my-rights-nursing-home

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1225&ChapterID=21

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