Illinois legislators and advocates for nursing home residents will meet today to discuss a very important topic in nursing home reform: staffing. Our Chicago nursing home attorneys support measures to increase minimum staffing levels and believe that doing so will help to improve resident well-being and reduce the occurence of abuse and neglect in nursing homes throughout Illinois. Currently, many nursing homes in our area operate with minimum staff, making it difficult for direct care workers to provide the care and attention that most nursing home residents require. When staff cannot deliver adequate care, residents are at risk for injuries such as pressure sores, malnutrition, dehydration, and are also more likely to fall or wander away from the nursing home.
In an article on the CBS 2 website, Rev. Elaine Bellis from the Community Renewal Society’s Senior Action Network sums up the situation well. According to Rev. Bellis, “One person cannot take care of 30 people and do the kind of job they’re expected to do” leading to “constant turnover and burnout” among nursing home staff. The article notes that the Governor and groups like the SEIU and Illinois AARP support mandatory increases in nursing home staffing levels, along with larger fines and more oversight. The nursing home industry is expected to oppose staffing increases, arguing that nursing homes that rely heavily on Medicaid funding cannot afford to operate at higher staffing levels.
We encourage readers to contact their Illinois legislators in support of nursing home reform to create better care and safer nursing homes. To read the full article on the proposed nursing home reform in Illinois click the hyperlink.