Bill aims to make Illinois nursing homes safer

By The Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Advocates for the elderly say Illinois nursing homes would be safer under legislation being considered in the state Senate.

The bill passed the House on Thursday. It would require many nursing homes to hire more staff. And the state would hire more inspectors to check nursing homes for problems.

It would be more difficult for nursing homes to give residents psychotropic drugs without their consent and without informing them about the risks of such drugs.

The bill would raise the amount of fines on nursing homes that violate state law. And it would double the licensing fees paid annually by nursing homes, making those fees just under $2,000 a year.

David Vinkler of AARP says the changes would make nursing homes safer.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.