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What Is the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act?

Posted on in Nursing Home Abuse

Illinois nursing home injury attorneysNursing home residents deserve to be treated with kindness and respect. Whether they need help with managing medical conditions or daily living tasks, nursing home staff have a moral responsibility and a legal obligation to provide the assistance they need. Federal and state laws set the standards nursing homes must meet as well as the rights nursing home residents must be afforded. 

In Illinois, the Nursing Home Care Act governs the rights that nursing home residents have by law. If a nursing home violates these important resident rights, the facility may face civil claims and other legal consequences.

Nursing Home Resident Rights in Illinois

Illinois adopted the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (NHCA) after serious concerns about residents’ safety and wellbeing were voiced. The legislation contains a resident “bill of rights” that gives residents the right to:

  • Be free from neglect and abuse
  • Be free from restraints unless deemed medically necessary by a physician for their own safety or the safety of other residents
  • Practice their chosen religion
  • Refuse medical treatments
  • Receive medical treatment from their chosen physician
  • Manage their own finances unless the nursing home has been given permission to manage a resident’s finances on his or her behalf
  • Keep their personal belongings and wear their own clothes unless it presents a safety concern
  • Review their own medical records
  • Receive telephone and mail communication
  • Enjoy in-person visitation with loved ones and other individuals outside the nursing home
  • Meet with a social worker or attorney

Common Violations of the Nursing Home Care Act

Unnecessary or unreasonable restraint through physical restraints, as well as chemical restraints like sedating medication, is one NHCA violation that is sadly common. Nursing home residents may not be restrained or sedated as a punishment or for staff convenience. Unfortunately, some nursing homes use antipsychotic or anti-anxiety medications to keep residents sleepy and docile. 

Nursing home neglect is another serious concern. Many nursing homes are severely understaffed. Because of this, nursing home residents may not receive the care and attention they need. Residents suffering from neglect may become dehydrated and malnourished. They may also suffer from new or worsening health conditions because of issues like bed sores and unaddressed infections. Tragically, some residents suffer physical abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, or financial exploitation at the hands of nursing home staff as well.  

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

If your loved one was neglected, abused, or denied his or her rights in a nursing home, contact Schwartz Injury Law to learn about your legal options. Call our office at 312-535-4625 today and schedule a free, confidential consultation with a skilled Chicago nursing home neglect and abuse attorney.

 

Sources:

https://courts.illinois.gov/CircuitCourt/CivilJuryInstructions/190.00.pdf

https://www.statnews.com/2018/02/05/antipsychotics-nursing-homes-elderly/

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