Many of our discussions can, understandably, have the tendency to leave many concerned with the wellbeing and safety of their loved ones in nursing homes a bit disheartened, to say the least. Even if you do notice a situation that disadvantages your loved one, what can you do about it proactively?

The standard advice is that if you see something, say something, but say something to who? The same facility that caused the harm to your loved one to begin with?

Is the Department of Public Health, whose authority is to investigate and take action against nursing homes, slowly being chipped away by bureaucratic red tape? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to this question, but an article out of Kansas provides an interesting model that cash and resource-depleted states such as Illinois may want to consider.

The underlying idea — to set up a hotline to report elder abuse is certainly a positive idea, albeit something of a short-term fix. What is interesting, however, is the attempts (although unsuccessful) to place the state’s attorney general at the helm of investigating adult neglect complaints. While this would be something of a radical shift if attempted in Illinois, the key to focus on is that each time this measure was proposed in Kansas, the relevant agency offered to devote more financial resources to preventing elder abuse.

This sort of “outside the box” thinking could be potentially useful in Illinois, where advocates for nursing home residents feel, by and large, that they were frozen out of recent legislative measures to clarify aspects of the landmark 2010 Nursing Home Care Act. Sometimes, these sorts of drastic measures, even if they are only used for negotiation tactics, are the best ways to get results.

You can contact us here 24/7/365 (and we really mean that as we will answer our phone) if you have anyquestions and to learn how we may be able to help you or your loved one who has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect – in particular, you will find that we listen, take your phone calls and e-mails (and even text messages!). We would be honored to help you with your matters – large or small.

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