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Illinois Advocates for Nursing Home Industry Debate Changes

Currently nursing home operators and advocates for seniors are debating the amount of change needed to fix the much troubled Illinois nursing home industry. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the nursing home industry is balking at the Nursing Home Safety Task Force and their recommendations for legislative action. The nursing home operators are objecting to the idea of raising minimum staffing levels. They also are not keen on the idea to increase fines and penalties for unsafe and poorly run facility and raising fees to help pay for these new safety implementations.

Also, some senior advocates are in opposition to the task force recommendation that separate wings or facilities become licensed so as to not mix them with vulnerable nursing home residents. They believe that the separate units do not solve the problem that is currently plaguing the mentally ill. The problems associated with the mentally ill and felons in nursing homes are what prompted the safety task force in the first place. Since then state officials, elder advocates and industry representatives are now meeting in smaller “working groups” to determine the best cause of action to solve these problems.

The task force’s report has an ambitious plan to move thousands of mentally disabled people from nursing homes into smaller residential programs. These programs will provide intensive therapy and supervision for those who require it. This appears to be one of many problems plaguing Illinois nursing homes. The AARP’s associative state director believes that many Illinois nursing homes fail to reach the minimum standards of quality of care and safety. To read more about the nursing home proposals, please click the link.