Operating a nursing home is hard work. After all providing medical attention to many patients who may be unable to care for themselves is literally a full-time job. State and federal laws can also make complying with these obligations difficult for the operators of these facilities, as the regulations set forth with great specificty what and how the facilities are to provide care.
On the other hand, operators of retirement homes and other group living arrrangements have it relatively easy. They pretty much get to run their facilities as they choose with little direction from regulatory authorities.
I recently read about the state’s crackdown of a retirement home in the Chicagoland area that was apparently approaching the boundary of what type of care retirement homes can provide under the auspices of assisted living.
Under pressure for the State of Illinois, Bowes Retirement Center in Elgin, IL will close its doors after more than 20 years of operation. In addition to financial concerns, the retirement facility was providing services considered by the state to mimic those provided in a nursing home settings such as:
- Bathing patients
- Treating patients with incontinence
- Providing medications to patients
- Providing oxygen for bedridden patients
Some residents at the facility were saddened that the place they may have called home for some time is no longer operational; however when unlicensed facilities provide skilled nursing care, patient safety is increasingly put at risk.
There is little doubt that many of the people living in the Elgin retirement home will initially be disoriented, but as a lawyer who has seen the end result of what can happen when facilities go unregulated, I feel that this closure is in the best interest of patient safety and long-term well-being.
For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.
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