New Villa law protects nursing home residents in Illinois

WEST CHICAGO – In partnership with community members and other professionals on her Senior Advisory Committee, State Senator Karina Villa championed a new law to protect the dignity and rights of nursing home residents across Illinois and ensure they are afforded the highest quality of care.

“Many families struggle with the decision to placed loved ones in long-term care facilities,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “With everything that goes into this decision, families shouldn’t also have to worry about abuse or neglect.”

Previously Senate Bill 1633, the new law amends and expands the existing Nursing Home Care Act to offer more comprehensive protection for nursing home residents. In addition to ensuring residents’ rights must be maintained and basic needs are met, the law creates requirements for grievance procedures at nursing facilities, protects residents from being forced to perform unpaid labor and requires information on how to submit complaints be posted publicly and available to residents at request.

Villa’s Senior Advisory Committee played a large role in the development of the legislation, which is modeled off of the Minnesota Patients’ Bill of Rights published by the Minnesota Department of Health. The law also ensures that all rights outlined under the Medical Patient Rights Act, including the right to sound medical care and the right to privacy and confidentiality, apply to residents under the Nursing Home Care Act.

“Families should be able to trust the faculty and staff in nursing homes to provide the absolute best care for their loved ones,” Villa said. “With this law, we hope to give them that peace of mind.”