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Legislation to protect nursing home residents being considered

Nursing homes can provide critical care to the most vulnerable patients. In many cases, elderly patients are admitted to these facilities because their care needs are more extensive than what can be managed by loved ones. This means that a huge population of people is depending on the medical care, support and respect that many nursing home facilities are expected to provide.

Sadly, not every patient will receive this basic level of care. Too many will or have become victims of neglect or abuse. This mistreatment is often ignored or denied by the very people expected to protect the patients, and family members of victims across Illinois want solutions. One such solution is currently being considered by Illinois lawmakers.

The proposed legislation is targeted at protecting nursing home patients while also empowering family members to keep a better eye on the treatment provided in the facility. According to reports, the legislation would allow the family members of nursing home residents to equip their loved one's room with audio and video recording equipment.

By having the ability to monitor the events inside a facility and, more specifically, a patient's room, loved ones can have valuable evidence if and when a resident is mistreated.

One woman says that video recordings proved to be essential when she filed a negligence claim after her mother fell and broke several bones. The facility told the daughter that she had simply fallen out of a wheelchair. The daughter challenged the facility's account and secured video from the nursing home. After seeing video of her mother's serious fall, the woman filed a negligence claim stating the injury happened when the woman was sitting in a regular chair, not the wheelchair she was supposed to have been in.

However, the struggle to get the video recordings of the event proved to be quite complicated and tedious. This is why patients and their families are fighting to be able to install cameras on their own and avoid this frustrating red tape.

Lawmakers have not yet made a decision regarding this proposed legislation, but we will certainly keep an eye on any developments as they could dramatically impact the rights and options that people have in protecting their loved ones.

Source: CBS Chicago, "Daughter Of Woman Allegedly Injured In Nursing Home Pushes For Patient Monitoring," Suzanne Le Mignot, Dec. 9, 2014

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