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New Illinois law aims to prevent nursing home abuse

When a family puts an aging loved one in a nursing home, they put their trust in the nursing home staff to provide the resident with the highest quality of life possible. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and even nursing home deaths take place all too often. To counter this, the state of Illinois has enacted a new law that aims to prevent nursing home staff from neglecting or abusing residents.

The new law would outfit nursing home rooms with cameras. Per the law, the nursing home resident along with any person that resident shares a room with would have to agree to having cameras or audio recorders placed in their room. The nursing home resident or the resident's family would be responsible for the costs of having the camera or audio recorder placed in the resident's room. The law will take effect on January 1, 2016.

According to the Illinois Department of Health, in 2013 there were over 100 valid allegations of nursing home neglect or abuse. The department addresses thousands of complaints each year.

While this new law is a good step in the right direction for preventing nursing home abuse and neglect, nursing home deaths may still occur due to the negligent -- or even intentional -- actions of nursing home staff. When this happens, the family members of the deceased are left with a hole in their heart. In such situations, it may help families to consider pursuing a lawsuit against the nursing home to recover for the damages they suffered. This may help the family find some sense of closure that they need during the grieving process. An Illinois elder abuse attorney may be able to help families understand the laws behind nursing home neglect and abuse.

Source: Fox 2 Now, "New law will allow cameras in Illinois nursing homes," Aug. 21, 2015

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