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october long-term care residents month

October Reminds Us That “Connection Matters” for Illinois Nursing Homes Residents

Every day, Illinois families bring their loved ones to nursing homes all around the state, some feeling certain and others uncertain that they will receive the high-quality care and comfort needed and their rights protected. Unfortunately, willful neglect, preventable accidents and illnesses, and abuse occur even in the most highly-rated facilities. October is a time to remind families and residents of the many rights designed to protect them from these situations.

Residents’ Rights Month is an annual event held in October by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) to celebrate and focus on awareness of dignity, respect, and long-term care residents’ value. This year’s theme is “Connection Matters.” The theme emphasizes connections – to family, friends, and the community – as essential components of good health and residents’ quality of life.

covid-19 causing nursing home transfers

We are all well aware by now of the unprecedented risks COVID-19 presents to nursing home residents due to their age and serious underlying medical conditions. Justice in Aging is a national organization that uses the power of law to fight senior poverty by securing access to affordable health care, economic security, and the courts for older adults with limited resources. The group recently put out an excellent resource for families looking to keep their loved ones safe from nursing home abuse and neglect due to COVID-19 disruptions. Many families are profoundly concerned about how the transfer of residents infected by coronavirus between facilities will be done safely.

Transferring Residents Based on Diagnosis

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) waives some portions of transfer/discharge regulations, but only in three situations:

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Residents Have the Right to Appeal a Nursing Home Discharge Decision

When a resident is transferred or discharged from a nursing home, the change can create monumental impacts on the emotional, physical and financial well-being of an already vulnerable individual and those who remain dependent on others for their daily care.

Common reasons for a facility to discharge, according to The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, may include:

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