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A Chicago nursing home was cited by the Illinois Department of Public Health after it was discovered that some residents were being awoken at 4:30 a.m. so that they could be dressed and in the day room before the day shift arrived. Interviews with staff members indicated that the night shift was instrcuted to get 2-3 residents ready for the day before the day shift arrived.

The residents selected to be awoken at that hour were not willing volunteers, but were some of the most helpless residents in the facility. The residents were not injured, but the loss of dignity was recognized in the citation.

The kind of practice shown here is nothing less than abuse. While the Nursing Home Care Act provides for remedies for personal injuries, it also provide a remedy for abuse which includes attorney’s fees and costs. These provisions in the Nursing Home Care Act are intended to encourage people to file suits to stop this kind of practice.

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