On January 1, 2016, a new Illinois law that hopes to reduce nursing home abuse went into effect. According to this law, nursing home residents will be allowed to install electronic monitoring devices in their rooms.
The new Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act places ownership and control of the electronic monitoring process in the hands of the resident. In Illinois, any nursing home resident is now allowed to install an electronic monitoring camera in his/her room at his/her own expense, including all costs for purchase, installation, maintenance and removal.
According to the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, enacted in 2010, nursing home residents must receive humane care and proper medical treatment that protect their health and legal rights. The Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act puts legislation into place that prevents the destruction of nursing home video evidence and makes the video admissible in court. Under this act, video evidence is admissible in Illinois court proceedings at the time of an initial court case, as well as any later proceedings related to the case. If a resident or resident’s family members file a lawsuit based on neglect or physical or emotional abuse, he/she must provide video or audio recordings made during the time of the alleged abuse to all parties in an administrative, civil or criminal proceeding. The new act also prohibits any editing or alterations, damages or destruction by nursing home staff or administrators of any video recording made in a resident’s room.
Although Illinois nursing home residents are protected by the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, many still suffer mistreatment by staff members and caregivers. Neglect and abuse often shows up in common problems like untreated bedsores, bruises, broken bones and fractures, poor hygiene, malnutrition, dehydration, and improper medications. Without proper medical attention, these conditions can lead to serious illness and death. Neal Strom, a Chicago nursing home abuse attorney, says “Sadly, nursing home abuse occurs in one in three nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Electronic monitoring devices will help protect many nursing home residents who suffer injuries from neglect and abuse.”