This week, Illinois governor Pat Quinn signed into law SB 326, a landmark nursing home safety reform bill. This legislation is designed to improve living conditions by increasing the number of nursing home inspectors and nursing staff, and increasing licensing fees. And–perhaps most important–there are provisions designed to reduce chronic violence that has been reported in the residences.
According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, this new legislation was signed even as the state faces $13 billion budget deficit.
“This is historic legislation. It begins a new era of nursing home care in Illinois,” [Governor] Quinn said at the Thompson Center signing….
The law will beef up existing criminal background checks and psychological screenings of incoming nursing home residents and place the relatively small number of dangerous patients into separate, secure therapeutic wards. The most ambitious measures are designed to divert thousands of mentally disabled people from nursing homes and into an array of smaller, residential programs that provide intensive therapy and supervision for those who require it, but greater independence for those who don’t.
HensonFuerst is heartened by this measure taken by Illinois. We believe that life in North Carolina nursing homes could be improved if there were more inspections…and if there were very real penalties for those that failed, especially if they failed to improve on their areas of failure. Our nursing home abuse attorneys hear from family members of people who have been neglected or abused in North Carolina nursing homes. We do our part to try to keep seniors safe, but we can only have an affect on behalf of our clients–one person at a time. We would welcome this type of state-wide initiative to improve the lives of nursing home residents across the state.
[Michael Gelder, Quinn’s top health care adviser] acknowledged that many industry insiders and advocates for the disabled are skeptical that the sweeping reforms can be achieved given Illinois’ deficit. “We need the skeptics out there to keep our feet to the fire,” he said. [from the Chicago Tribune]
In North Carolina, we still need to start the fire!
(To read more about nursing home abuse, visit our dedicated web page: North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers)