While we usually think of older people in nursing homes, the reality is that there remains a sizable contingent of younger people who remain in nursing homes and other types of long-term care facilities. Many of these younger people suffer from disabilities such as birth defects and other genetic disorders that require intensive medical care.
In some circumstances these younger patients have been admitted to these facilities simply because their families are unable to care for them at home. Sadly, in some circumstances, many of these younger patients are highly susceptible to harm from both other patients and the staff at these facilities.
On our sister blog, Child Injury Laws, we recently discussed such problems of abuse and neglect of younger patients at Alden Village North, a Chicagoland nursing home that caters to children and young adults. Apparently in response to these reports of ongoing abuse and neglect, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is poised to sign legislation that will:
- Impose stiffer fines for poor care
- Ban on new admissions at troubled homes
- Use stricter rules on the use of psychotropic medications
- Make it easier for officials to close dangerous facilities
- Nursing home administrators would also be required to report all deaths to state authorities and to local coroners and medical examiners
The bill, passed by the House Monday, needs only a signature from Gov. Pat Quinn to become law.
Certainly, as an advocate for injured and abused children, I am always reminded just how few supporters this group has on its side. Hopefully, this new legislation will benefit this group both by bolstering the laws to protect them and by bringing these important issues into the public sphere of awareness so we can help spread the word about some of the atrocities committed at facilities licensed to care for this group.
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.
New law requires stricter guidelines for nursing homes, Chicago Tribune, May 31, 2011 By Sam Roe and Jared S. Hopkins