Nursing home residents’ civil rights protected under Villa legislation

SPRINGFIELD – After months of collaboration with community members and professionals on her Senior Advisory Committee focusing on issues affecting older Illinoisans, Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) introduced a measure that would ensure nursing home residents are treated with courtesy and are able to maintain their human and civil rights while receiving medical care.

“All Illinoisans deserve to be treated with civility and respect, regardless of their age or ability,” Villa said. “It’s been a pleasure working with my Senior Advisory Committee to come up with solutions for the nursing home issues voiced throughout our community.”

Villa’s legislation would prohibit nursing home residents from performing labor for the facility unless it is for documented therapeutic or medical purposes. Outpatient mental health service facilities would also be required to have a written internal grievance procedure to allow residents to voice their concerns.

This initiative provides nursing home residents the right to courteous treatment, the right to protection and advocacy services. All applicable patient rights under the Medical Patient Rights Act would also apply to residents under the Nursing Home Care Act.

“When we have loved ones living in a nursing home, we should have full confidence that they will be cared for with courtesy and proper medical practices,” Villa said. “This initiative will help give nursing home residents the opportunity to enjoy the highest quality of life.”

Senate Bill 1633 passed the Health Committee and now goes to the full Senate.