It’s certainly no secret that nursing home overcrowding and understaffing has contributed a great deal to the alarming rate of serious injuries and avoidable deaths suffered in nursing homes each year.
That’s why this report from the Chicago Tribune is rather troubling, as it suggests that the state isn’t living up to its end of the bargain in one of the components of the reform that culminated in the state’s landmark 2010 Nursing Home Care Act.
In 2010, the state agreed to start screening mentally ill patients in specialized nursing homes for potential release into subsidized housing and group homes where they would receive specialized treatment.
As the article notes,
“some mentally ill residents of Illinois nursing homes receive excellent treatment, others are housed in a subset of institutions that provide little therapy or discharge planning.”
Ultimately, budget cuts and an increased demand have been two of the primary talking points that nursing home advocates cite as justification for cost-cutting measures and lobbying to ease restrictions on the number of skilled staff required.
It certainly stands to reason, then, that anything the state can do to decrease the number of nursing home residents, and thus undercut this justification that leads to providing less than acceptable services to our most vulnerable members of society, is something that should be done.
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