The Chicago Sun Times reported the problems in Illinois nursing homes during the last year. In 2019, Illinois ranked last in nursing home staffing. The neglect and abuse exist despite getting bailouts and windfalls from the government.
Taxpayers sent $240 million to nursing homes to address staffing numbers. This included at least $880 million for Illinois nursing homes in 2020. Those totals do not include federal PPP funds. Yet the nursing home industrygot hundreds of millions of dollars in “no strings attached” COVID-19 relief.
Yet the industry’s failures mount: failure to be transparent and accountable in how the public funds are used, failure to improve staffing numbers, failure to reduce dangerous overcrowding. We need greater regulation of the use of psychotropic drugs in these facilities. A 2018 study from senior advocacy group found that Illinois has the nation’s second worst record of giving these powerful drugs without a psychiatric diagnosis. Sadly, patients are kept sedated to be more “manageable.”