Few things may be more difficult for families than placing their older loved ones in the care of an Illinois nursing home. Many people may have no choice as their elderly family members require constant help or supervision that they cannot receive anywhere else. Unfortunately, a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer sees many tragic stories that are regularly being unearthed that show the consistently low level of care that residents often receive in these facilities. To combat the problem, the office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan drafted a bill to help families maintain a watchful eye over their loved ones at all times.
Details of the bill
The Chicago Tribune reports that Rep. Greg Harris introduced the nursing home camera bill to the state legislature early this year. If passed, it would allow residents to place video cameras in their rooms as a safety measure. Residents would be required to pay for the devices themselves. In cases where the elderly patients are not capable of deciding whether or not to employ a camera, family members and legal guardians would instead be able to give their consent.
An additional provision in the bill provides $50,000 for patients who want cameras but are unable to afford the cost. Any room with a camera would be required to be clearly marked at the entrances. Additionally, in cases where rooms are shared with other residents, all parties would have to agree to the use of the camera. However, if a resident refuses consent, the nursing home would be required to move the person requesting a camera to a different room where they can be accommodated.
Safety as a top priority
While some detractors say that the bill will be in infringement on the privacy of healthcare workers, a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer knows that the main concern for nursing homes should always be the residents under their care, not the employees. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, 44 percent of nursing home residents surveyed in one study reported that they had been abused. In the same study 95 percent of residents admitted that they had been neglected or seen a fellow resident be neglected. Additionally, a 2010 survey found that over 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating nursing home residents within the previous year.
Cameras are necessary for safety
Attorney General Madigan and other legislators hope that the use of these cameras will act as a deterrent to the deplorable behavior that many long-term care facility workers engage in while caring for their elderly residents. Those who believe that their loved one may have been the victim of abuse or neglect should immediately remove the individual from the nursing home and contact a Chicago nursing home abuse lawyer for assistance.