SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Nursing home residents would enjoy greater protection from restraining practices and unnecessary overmedication under new legislation led by state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, D-Batavia.
“Nursing home residents are some of our most vulnerable community members, and they deserve safe, dignified treatment in all circumstances,” Hirschauer said. “This legislation seeks to prevent harmful restraining practices and the misuse of psychotropic drugs so that nursing home residents receive helpful services free of harm or misconduct.”
Senate Bill 1497 specifies when and how positioning devices can be used to restrain someone in order to maintain the health and safety of a resident. The bill distinguishes between positioning devices and physical restraints, and allows residents to request positioning devices to assist with stability and movement. To prevent the misuse of psychotropic drugs, the bill also clarifies that psychotropic drugs are only to be used to treat a specific diagnosed and documented condition, or if clinical documentation in the resident’s medical record supports the use of the medication over the other alternatively prescribed medications. Senate Bill 1497 is an initiative of Hirschauer and state Sen. Karina Villa’s Joint Senior Advisory Committee, a group of civically-minded community members who discuss and propose legislation.
“According to the American Association of Retired Persons, Illinois is the second worst state in the misuse of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes in America. This is unacceptable,” Hirschauer said. “When we trust nursing homes with the care of our loved ones, we expect them to treat them with the safest and highest quality of care. This bill helps make that so. I encourage my colleagues in the House to pass this bill and protect nursing home residents across Illinois.”
Senate Bill 1497 now heads to the House floor for consideration. For more information on Hirschauer’s legislative agenda, please visit www.ilga.gov.