Nursing Home Rights

With the growing number of retirees in nursing facilities, nursing home abuse is quickly becoming a more prominent issue. The chance that a family member or even yourself may deal with nursing home abuse is becoming far too common in an industry that is required both professionally and ethically to care for our loved ones.

The Senate Special Committee on Aging has been focusing considerable attention on the need to improve nursing home quality of care. However, there are limited resources to monitor and enforce these regulations. The result has been increased negligence and abuse to our elderly under the care of these facilities.

Under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, nursing home residents are granted wide-ranging rights. You do NOT need to prove medical malpractice. All a resident must prove is that the facility did not provide proper treatment or that the treatment provided was unreasonable or dangerous.

Thousands of nursing home patients suffer serious injury or lapse into grave illness from the actions or negligence of their caregivers. If you suspect your elderly parent suffered from nursing home negligence, elder abuse or substandard care, The Law Offices of David H. Brinton, LLC can investigate a claim for damages.

Nursing Home Resident Rights:

  • present grievances to the staff or others without fear of retaliation
  • have grievances quickly resolved by the facility
  • handle personal financial affairs
  • file a complaint with the state survey and agency for abuse, neglect, or stealing of property
  • private and unlimited communication, including privacy for phone calls, mail, and meetings with family, friends, and residents
  • access any entity or individual that provides health, social, legal, and other services
  • privacy regarding medical, personal, and financial affairs
  • receive satisfactory or appropriate care
  • be informed of their medical condition and participate in treatment planning
  • refuse medication and treatment and be offered treatment alternatives
  • participate in discharge planning
  • review their medical records
  • information on all services available and the charges for those services
  • information on the facility’s policies, procedures, rules, and regulations
  • information about how to contact their state ombudsman and licensure office and advocacy groups
  • review the state survey reports on the facility
  • daily communication in their own language; and assistance if there is sensory impairment
  • be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons, if health or safety is endangered, for nonpayment of services, or if the facility closes
  • be notified of transfer 30 days in advance (in most instances)
  • know the reason for transfer, the date it’s effective, the location to which the resident is discharged, and a statement of the right to appeal
  • receive preparation from the facility to ensure a safe and orderly transfer
  • have policies and practices upheld by the facility that are the same for all individuals regardless of payment source

Overview of The Nursing Home Care Act:

The Nursing Home Care Act (Act) is an Illinois law that guards the rights of residents of long-term care facilities. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is the state agency given the power to enforce this law.
The Nursing Home Care Act does not apply to:

  • Facilities operated by the State or by the Federal government
  • Hospitals
  • A Community Living Facility
  • A Community-Integrated Living Arrangements facility
  • A Supportive Residence

If a facility violates your rights, you have several options.

Filing a Complaint with IDPH:

If you believe that a facility is violating the Act, you may file a complaint with Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).

You may contact IDPH and file a complaint at:
Illinois Dept. of Public Health
Attn: Central Complaint Registry
535 W. Jefferson St.
Springfield, IL 62761

To file a complaint by phone, contact the Central Complaint Registry at 1-800-252-4343.

Resources:

Illinois Nursing Home Care Act

IDPH Nursing Homes in Illinois