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Proposed Illinois legislation centers on nursing home abuse

America's aging population has been the focus of many headlines lately, particularly as it relates to nursing homes. Earlier this month, a report indicated that potential budget cuts may force many seniors in Illinois to enter nursing homes. Currently, approximately 80,000 Illinois seniors receive care from the Community Cares Program, but Governor Bruce Rauner noted that he wants to save money by focusing on a smaller number of seniors eligible for Medicaid.

It remains to be seen what, exactly, will happen with the state budget, but the reality is that more and more Illinoisans are getting older and facing the prospect of a nursing home. Many families search long and hard for the right facility, making sure that there are no reports of nursing home abuse or neglect. However, the process of lodging a complaint over nursing home abuse may soon become a bit more involved.

Lawmakers in Illinois have reportedly been considering eliminating the ability to make an anonymous complaint over nursing home abuse or neglect. Currently, people who make a formal complaint about nursing home abuse to the state health agency may do so anonymously, at least regarding the actual nursing home. This could change, however, under a potential bill that would aim to trim the number of false reports and harassment. Essentially, under the proposed legislation investigators would not have to look into complaints made anonymously. Not surprisingly, the proposal is not without its critics, including a spokesperson for AARP Illinois, who claims it should not matter where a complaint came from, only that it needs to be investigated.

Unfortunately, nursing home abuse, neglect, and even preventable nursing home deaths are a reality for many in the United States, including seniors here in Cook County. In today's world, abuse and neglect can take many forms, but an Illinois nursing home neglect attorney can help.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "In Illinois, State Your Abuse Complaint - and Your Name," Kimberly Leonard, April 22, 2016

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