A bill to reform parts of the Community Care Program, a state program that strives to help seniors maintain their independence and remain in their own homes has passed. The bill will make some wholesale changes to the program including shifting some seniors to a managed care model, freezing reimbursement rates, and implementing a data sharing system for use between agencies.
A separate bill to increase funding to the program is pending.
As anyone who works with the elderly knows, no one wants to enter nursing home care. For most, if not all people, a nursing home is seen as a place where life as an enjoyable experience comes to an end. Nursing homes, as a whole, have a serious public relations issue. The responsibility for that problem lies primarily with the nursing homes themselves, but it also lies with us.
Home care can reduce crowding in nursing homes, and help seniors stay in their homes. In order to qualify for the Community Care Program, a potential applicant must be an Illinois citizen over 65-years-old with a demonstrated need for the program.
Home care is much less expensive than nursing home care. Depending on the program participants need, home care can be as simple as a home delivered meal.
Seniors have good reason to be afraid of nursing homes. As a nursing home lawyer, I’ve spent time in many nursing homes meeting with clients and their families. I’ve seen residents who have been the victims of terrible nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect.
For-profit nursing home chains are in the business of providing nursing home care in order to make as big a profit as they can. Publicly traded nursing home chains have to make a bigger profit every year to please their shareholders. Since most nursing home residents are on Medicaid, increasing profit usually means cutting corners.
When corners are cut, nursing home neglect becomes a question of “when” not “if.” The only way to ensure that nursing homes provide quality care is to take away the profit from cutting corners.
If you have a loved one who has been the victim of nursing home neglect or nursing home abuse in an Illinois nursing home, contact the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle for a free and confidential evaluation of your case.