Illinois Law Allows Electronic Monitoring for Nursing Home Residents

Ultrasound technician performing test on woman

On January 1, 2016, a new Illinois law went into effect that will allow nursing home residents to have electronic monitoring in their rooms. The new law places ownership and control of the electric monitoring device in the resident’s hands. The law states that a nursing home resident who conducts authorized electronic monitoring must do so at his/her own expense, including the purchase costs of the monitoring device, device installation and maintenance costs, and removal costs. Due to the rising number of nursing home abuse cases filed by residents and their families through an Illinois nursing home abuse attorney, the law was enacted to provide more protection for residents.

The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act, enacted in 2010, protects the rights of nursing home residents. It ensures  residents humane care and treatment and governs procedures for involuntary discharge from a nursing home. According to this act, any video recording made in a resident’s room can not be destroyed by nursing home staff or administrators. Under this act, if a resident files a lawsuit through an Illinois nursing home abuse attorney, he/she must provide any video or audio recordings made during the time of the alleged abuse to all parties involved in a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding.

The new 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 the new law, 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. The new law also prohibits editing or enhancement of the video contents in any way.

Unfortunately, many elderly adults in nursing homes around the country suffer abuse and neglect from their care givers and nursing home staff. Physical and/or mental disabilities create vulnerability for many nursing home residents who are unable to protect or defend themselves against nursing home abuse. The new Illinois Electronic Monitoring Act will hopefully reduce or eliminate cases of nursing home abuse that require an Illinois nursing home abuse attorney. The Illinois Department of Public Health operates a Central Complaint Registry to record and investigate complaints regarding nursing home facilities, hospitals and home health agencies.