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September 20, 2010


Nursing Home Safety Initiative Has Conducted Unannounced Compliance Checks at 21 Nursing Home Facilities throughout Illinois

Chicago – Today, Attorney General Lisa Madigan released results from 21 unannounced nursing home compliance checks conducted over the past nine months as part of her Operation Guardian initiative. The Attorney General revealed her office has identified 124 residents and staff with active arrest warrants living among the elderly nursing home population. Madigan spoke early this afternoon outside of the Central Nursing and Rehab, 2450 N. Central in Chicago. Madigan’s office conducted an Operation Guardian compliance check at Central Nursing and Rehab on Sept. 10 where nine residents were wanted on outstanding arrest warrants, four residents were arrested and one resident, listed as a missing person, was cleared.

“When we make the difficult decision to entrust our parents or grandparents to care in a nursing home, we do so with the reasonable expectation they will be safe and well cared for. Yet we have seen far too often that some nursing homes are instead serving as safe houses for fugitives,” said Attorney General Madigan. “Operation Guardian will continue to make unannounced visits to nursing homes across Illinois to ensure their residents are not only in a safe environment, but that they also are abiding by all standards set by law. It is the least we can do for our loved ones.”

These multi-agency checks give state and local agencies the opportunity to review safety and compliance issues. The Department on Aging’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program works to ensure residents’ rights are not being violated. The Department of Public Health conducts a compliance review of any identified offenders and any reported incidents in the last six months. The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation interviews administrators and performs a license check of all professionals employed at the nursing facility.

Attorney General Madigan launched “Operation Guardian” last February. This initiative expands on her previous work to shut down south suburban Emerald Park Nursing Home that was found to have housed numerous sex offenders and other felons.

Madigan has since successfully worked to require background checks and criminal history analyses of nursing home residents to identify those who might pose a threat to others. In addition, Madigan authored the Resident’s Right to Know Act that requires nursing homes complete an annual Consumer Choice Information Report detailing the facility’s standard of care, service and security issues to provide better information to residents and their families.


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