Illinois Lawmaker Says Families Should Be Able to Observe Nursing Home Care Provided to Loved Ones with Dementia Through Video Monitoring
Senate Bill 109, a plan sponsored by Illinois Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek), passed the state’s Senate in late March in response to multiple complaints received by the Illinois Department of Public Health about abuse, neglect and theft against nursing home residents. The bill was designed to help families of individuals battling dementia and would allow the installation of video and audio monitoring devices in their loved one’s room to deter or detect signs of abuse and neglect. The legislation language specifically speaks to the use of electronic monitoring in patient rooms in a building or care area solely dedicated to dementia residents.
The bill is now on the way to the Illinois House for further debate. It supports a 2015 law that allowed for video and audio monitoring equipment in facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities or those living in long-term care facilities.
Elder Abuse Claims Remain Much Higher for Dementia Residents
The Alzheimer’s Association reports there are approximately 1 to 2 million cases of elder abuse incidences each year for dementia residents living in community settings. Most adult protective services officials and long-term care ombudsman will say the true incident rates are likely to be much higher though since this abuse can come in many different ways including:
- Physical: causing physical pain or injury
- Emotional: verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment and intimidation
- Neglect: failure to provide necessities, including food, clothing, shelter, medical care or a safe environment
- Confinement: restraining or isolating the person
- Financial: the misuse or withholding of the person’s financial resources (money, property) to his or her disadvantage or the advantage of someone else
- Sexual abuse: touching, fondling or any sexual activity when the person is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened or physically forced
- Willful deprivation: willfully denying the person medication, medical care, food, shelter or physical assistance, and thereby exposing the individual with Alzheimer’s to the risk of physical, mental or emotional harm
- Self-neglect: Due to lack of insight and cognitive changes, a person with Alzheimer’s may be unable to safely and adequately provide for day-to-day needs, and may be at risk for harm, falls, wandering and/or malnutrition.
Dementia patients are often described as having cognitive events of paranoia and delusional storytelling, making it difficult for family or friends to believe abuse or neglect claims. If this is the case for your loved one, know you can protect them from by simply knowing the warning signs and acting quickly with the help of an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect legal team.
Chicago’s Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorneys
Levin & Perconti is one of the most successful and respected nursing home abuse and neglect law firms in Illinois, achieving multiple million dollar verdicts and settlements for individuals and families who have been impacted by all types of nursing home abuse, malpractice, or neglect.
Our consultations are always free, confidential, and handled by one of our skilled attorneys. Click here to fill out an online request form or call us toll-free at 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.