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Chicago and Illinois Move to Reduce Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Illinois and Chicago officials are looking towards new legislative proposals to improve nursing home safety. 48th Ward Alderman Mary Ann Smith has introduced ordinance amendments which will hopefully strengthen the current city of Chicago inspections of nursing facilities. Additionally, the nursing home legislation will increase enforcement and penalties for incidents of nursing home abuse. Under the new legislation nursing homes will be required to make the details of their financial and safety records more accessible to the public.

While this new city legislation is being debated, Governor Quinn’s office is planning to introduce legislation that will implement the recommendations of the recently formed Nursing Home Safety Task Force. This task force was formed immediately after the Chicago Tribune reported the grave conditions that take place at area Chicago nursing homes. These incidents included rapes, attacks and murders in those facilities that house the elderly with the mentally ill. The task force has recommended tightening criminal background checks on new residents, increasing nursing staffing and bolstering sanctions against facilities whom chronically breach safety regulations.

The Chicago nursing home lawyers of Levin and Perconti support the recent efforts to improve nursing home safety. We recognize that legislative action may decrease the number of incidents of nursing home abuse throughout the state of Illinois. Many other organizations are supporting the legislation such as the AARP, Illinois Citizens for Better Care and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. The crafters of the bill believe that the great amount of support they are receiving will help the nursing home bill pass through the legislative channels. To learn more about the recent proposals, read the Chicago Tribune article on Illinois nursing home legislation.