The Chicago Tribune reported today on developments in Springfield related to curbing the amount of Illinois nursing home abuse in facilities assisting developmentally disabled residents. Blog readers are well apprised of the many examples of neglect that have been publicized recently involving the care at these homes.
For examples, rightful indignation has followed reports of the care given at the Chicago home Alden Village North-likely one of the main motivators of the bill. At least 13 children were killed at the home in the last decade alone. Investigations following those deaths revealed a wide range of mismanagement, poor oversight, and negligent care which contributed to the minor’s struggles. Other cases from throughout the state have involved extreme verbal abuse, and even aggressive physical abuse. In one instance a developmentally disabled man was killed when several care workers physically beat him for taking a cookie without permission from the home.
Today the Illinois House passed a measure aimed at improving care at these facilities and holding them accountable for their problematic treatment of area residents. If the proposal passes the Senate and is signed by the Governor, the new bill would increase the penalties of those facilities found to have violated the law. It would also change the reporting requirements, and ensure that families are made aware of problematic treatment at the facility much more quickly. Those families would then be able to make more informed decisions about whether the facility is actually the appropriate location for their loved one.
These possible reforms are long overdue according to our Illinois nursing home attorneys at Levin & Perconti. The treatment of many of those in state nursing homes-both old and young alike-would appall most community members. The passage of legislation like this would be an important step in actually improving the lives of these residents.
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