illinois aging network alert November 30, 2020
Illinois Aging Network
November 30, 2020
ISSUE: LONG-TERM CARE IN CRISIS
As of November 27th, 2020, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports 45,882 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in long-term care, with 6,047 deaths. As nursing homes and assistive living communities continue to be hit the hardest by the pandemic, the most vulnerable population is isolated in close quarters, with a poor prognosis if contacting the disease. With isolation from the outside world, aging professionals, family, and friends are not able to ensure the quality of care and treatment of our older adults, leaving them at risk for health and safety violations that pose life threatening risks.
Aside from COVID-19, Illinois nursing homes pose additional risks of using unnecessary sedation and having inadequate staffing that leaves residents neglected and malnourished. Illinois ranks 50th in the state, bottom place in the nation, for direct care of daily nursing hours per resident.1 Illinois nursing homes also provide anti-psychotic drugs to long-term care residents without a psychiatric diagnosis, becoming the second worst in the nation for this practice.1
LEGISLATIVE ASK: PROTECT OLDER ADULTS IN LONG-TERM CARE SETTINGS.
*We urge state and federal legislators to implement new policy solutions to keep long-term care residents safe by balancing isolation with containment efforts to reduce thenumber of deaths in long-term care settings.TESTING: Provide expedient testing for staff, residents, and visitorsPPE: Provide PPE to all staff and residents as recommended by the IDPHREDUCE ISOLATION: Provide resources to keep residents connected to the outside world
*JCAR members should support the Department of Public Health's proposed rules to protect nursing home residents.
Skilled Nursing and Intermediate Care Facilities Code (77 IAC 300; 44 ILL Reg 435) proposed 1/10/20
- Requires informed consent from the resident or surrogate decision maker before administering a psychotropic drug.
- Improves staffing standards by requiring IDPH to enforce minimum staffing compliance, making staffing levels and violations available to the public, and providing strong remedies for violations
1Across the States 2018:IL State Profile