The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (INHCA)
The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act (INHCA) provides basic and fundamental rights for nursing home residents throughout the state of Illinois. In particular, residents Illinois nursing homes are provided with protection from abuse, neglect and serious mistreatment.
Under the INHCA, nursing home residents maintain the same rights that they have if they were a private citizen living at home. New residents should be informed upon their arrival of their spousal impoverishment rights as defined in the Illinois Public Aid Code. Residents maintain the right to use their personal property as they wish, and retain the services of their own personal physician at their own expenses. No resident should ever be subject to any experimental research or treatment by any employee or contractor of the nursing home. Residents have the right to decide on their own treatment including provisions such as ‘do-not-resuscitate orders’ and to take themselves off of treatment.
The INHCA was enacted after widespread reporting of resident abuse and neglect at nursing home facilities. The Illinois Department of Health regulates nursing homes to ensure that nursing home residents are not being taken advantage of or being deprived of their rights.
The law gives nursing home residents the opportunity to bring a lawsuit against their nursing home for a violation of their rights outlined by the INHCA.
The INHCA defines abuse as any physical or mental injuries inflicted on a resident in a facility that are not accidental. “Neglect” is defined as a facility’s failure to provide or the willful withholding of adequate medical care, mental health treatment, personal care or assistance with activities of daily living. The INHCA generally applies to any private home, institution, or other place that provides personal or nursing care for 3 or more persons.
Nursing home residents are often among society’s most vulnerable. Many residents are elderly, disabled, or otherwise in need of care and monitoring that unfortunately, nursing homes fail to provide. The INHCA was passed to assure that all nursing home residents retain their rights and dignity as citizens of Illinois and the United States, and recognized that without legal protection, far too many residents could suffer.
If you or a loved one have been neglected or abused in a nursing home or deprived of any of the rights listed by the NHCA, you may have a claim and be entitled to compensation. Please feel free to contact one of the attorneys at the Law Office of Jeffrey Friedman, P.C. at 312-357-1431 for a free consultation.