What You Need to Know About Illinois' New Nursing Home Laws, According to Bloomington Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Josh Rohrscheib

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Two new pieces of nursing home-related legislation went into law in Illinois on the first day of the new year. These new laws aim to reinforce the rights and appropriate care of nursing home residents.

“We trust these facilities to care for our elderly loved ones, but that trust has been broken at times,” Rohrscheib said. “It’s time for our state’s laws to support providing the best care and ensuring the rights of some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Illinois personal injury attorney Josh Rohrscheib with Bloomington firm Onward Injury Law, says the new legislation will help to address the growing issues surrounding nursing home abuse and neglect in Illinois.

With the passage of both https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=HB&DocNum=4674&GAID=16&SessionID=110&LegID=138845House Bill 4674 and https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1633&GAID=16&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=134266&SessionID=110&GA=102Senate Bill 1633 in early January, the State of Illinois is aiming to make nursing home facilities safer and more beneficial for residents’ health. The intent of these laws is to improve education and training for nursing home employees and reinforce the rights of residents.

“We trust these facilities to care for our elderly loved ones, but that trust has been broken at times,” Rohrscheib said. “It’s time for our state’s laws to support providing the best care and ensuring the rights of some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Continuing Education for Illinois Nursing Home Employees
With House Bill 4674, the focus is on continuing education for nursing home employees. Any employee who evaluates or inspects nursing home facilities will be required to spend a minimum of ten hours annually on continuing their education. The Illinois Department of Public Health will establish guidelines for the requirement.

“Cases of nursing home abuse and neglect often stem from lack of training and accountability,” Rohrscheib explained. “More education for nursing home staff can only improve the care of our elderly population.”

Reinforcing Residents’ Rights in Illinois Nursing Homes
In order to reinforce the rights of nursing home residents, Senate Bill 1633 requires residents of nursing home facilities be treated with “courtesy and respect for their individuality” by their caregivers. This includes prohibiting residents from performing labor for the facility except in situations where it helps to meet their health improvement goals.

The bill also addresses guidelines and requirements for grievance procedures for certain care facilities, including providing an advocate for the patient and setting time limits for responding to grievances.

“Mistreatment should never happen in these facilities, but sadly, it does,” said Rohrscheib. “Family members often don’t know what to do or hit roadblocks when addressing these issues, and these mandated processes will help correct that problem.”

What to Do If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
If you witness or even suspect the abuse or neglect of a nursing home resident, Rohrscheib said you should take quick action to stop the mistreatment, prevent further harm, and possibly get compensated for damages and loss later on.

Evaluate and Record
It’s important to assess the situation and make a record for yourself. This includes writing down what you’ve seen or experienced as well as taking photos or videos if possible.
“Evaluating and keeping a record will help to solidify what abuse you think is occurring and who is responsible,” Rohrscheib noted.

Contact the Illinois Senior HelpLine
To get guidance and assistance with a possible case of neglect or abuse, you can call the Illinois Senior Helpline 1-800-252-8966 or send an email to aging.ilsenior@illinois.gov.
File a Complaint
To file an official complaint, you can fill out a form with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), or you can call in to report a complaint at 1-800-252-4343. You will be asked specific questions about who the resident is, which facility they’re at, what abuse or neglect occurred, and when the incident occurred. IDPH will then investigate the complaint and take action.

Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
A https://rohrscheiblaw.com/bloomington-nursing-home-abuse-lawyer/nursing home abuse attorney will be a valuable asset during an ordeal that involves mistreatment in a nursing home facility. Lawyers can communicate with IDPH and the nursing home for you, and they can walk you through your options for recovering compensation for loss or harm.

Onward Injury Law has five office locations throughout Central Illinois:

About Onward Injury Law
Onward Injury Law is an Illinois personal injury law firm, serving clients in Bloomington, Decatur, Springfield, Champaign, and other areas of Central Illinois. We handle a range of personal injury practice areas, including nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death cases.

If you or a loved one have experienced harm or loss due to someone else’s negligence, book a free case review with the highly-rated personal injury team at Onward Injury Law. Our office is at 308 E Washington St., Suite C, Bloomington, IL 61701 or you can visit one of our other four offices.

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Josh Rohrscheib