Illinois Nursing Home Laws
You and your loved ones rely on nursing home and assisted living facilities to take care of them, particularly when very specific medical needs must be attended to during all hours of the day.
However, there are too many facilities in the United States currently falling below the general standard of care, and the elderly often suffer because of it.
There are laws in place to protect nursing home residents and their loved ones. This page serves to provide a primer on some of those laws and the rights residents and family members have under them.Illinois Nursing Home Care Act
In addition to federal laws, the safety and rights of nursing home residents in Illinois are protected under the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (210 ILCS 45). Under the law, the following key terms are defined:
- "Abuse" means “any physical or mental injury or sexual assault inflicted on a resident other than by accidental means in a facility.”
- a "long term care facility" is defined as a "private home, institution, building, residence, or any other place, whether operated for profit or not, or a county home for the infirm and chronically ill...which provides, through its ownership or management, personal care, sheltered care or nursing for 3 or more persons, not related to the applicant or owner by blood or marriage."
- "Neglect" means “a facility's failure to provide, or willful withholding of, adequate medical care, mental health treatment, psychiatric rehabilitation, personal care, or assistance with activities of daily living that is necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness of a resident.”
- "Misappropriation of a resident's property" means “the deliberate misplacement, exploitation, or wrongful temporary or permanent use of a resident's belongings or money without the resident's consent.”
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act also establishes the rights of residents and the responsibilities of facilities to protect residents from nursing home abuse and neglect. Residents' Rights include, but are not limited to:
- All residents have the right to remain free from abuse and neglect
- All residents have the right to manage their own financial affairs
- All residents have the right to wear their own clothes and keep their personal belongings in their rooms
- All residents have the right be cared for by their own doctor under their own health insurance or at their expense
- All residents (or their guardians) are afforded the right to access and look over all medical records related to their care
- All residents have the right to religious freedom
- All residents have the right to refuse treatment
- All residents have the right be free from restraints, unless ordered by a physician to protect a resident
- All residents have the right to visitors, mail and phones
When a long-term care facility violates the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, it endangers the safety and well-being of residents living under its care. The Illinois Department of Public Health is in charge of enforcing the Nursing Home Care Act throughout the state. All facilities that fall under the definition of a long-term care facility are required to comply with the Act.
If you believe that a loved one was harmed or injured because an Illinois nursing home violated the Nursing Home Care Act, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury or loss.
Since 1992, our Chicago injury lawyers have handled complex nursing home cases and are happy to counsel you on your legal options. Call 312-332-2872 or 877-374-1417 or complete our Contact Us form for a free and confidential consultation.