The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act protects the rights of residents in long term care facilities relating to privacy, freedom from neglect and abuse, and self-determination. Under the Act, a long term care facility is any place that provides personal care, sheltered care or nursing for three or more persons not related to the facility owner by blood or marriage. These facilities are required to comply with the Act and are responsible for preventing nursing home resident abuse and neglect.
Some of the major residents’ rights protected under the Act include:
• The right to wear your own clothing and have a safe, secure storage place for your personal property • The right to privacy of your bedroom space, including not sharing a room with someone of the opposite sex unless the person is your spouse • The right to choose your own doctor and make decisions about your medical care • The right to be free from restraint or confinement without consent • The right to communicate through phone and mail and receive visitors • The right to manage your own financial affairs • The right to be free from abuse and neglect • The right to discharge or transfer to a different facility at your request • All of your rights as a U.S. citizen, including freedom of speech, religion, and the right to vote
The Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) enforces the Act throughout Illinois. If a facility has violated any of your protected rights, your options include 1) filing a complaint with the Long-Term Care Ombudsman; 2) filing a complaint with the IDPH; or 3) consulting an Illinois nursing home abuse attorney about filing a private lawsuit. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman is required to investigate your complaint and can ask the facility to voluntarily comply with the Act’s requirements. If the facility fails to address the violation, the IDPH can investigate and impose fines and other penalties for any violation it finds, up to and including revoking the facility’s license to operate.
In addition to submitting a complaint to the Ombudsman or IDPH, you can also pursue a private nursing home lawsuit. The Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at Levin & Perconti have handled hundreds of complex nursing home cases involving injuries arising out of Illinois Nursing Home Care Act violations. These cases include securing a record $2.9 million jury verdict against a suburban Homewood nursing home for the family of a deceased resident who suffocated due to the home’s negligent care of her tracheostomy tube.
When a nursing home violates the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, it puts its residents’ safety and welfare at risk. If you or your loved one has been injured or wrongfully killed due to nursing home abuse or neglect or other Nursing Home Care Act violation, take action quickly to consult an experienced Illinois injury attorney.