BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. – State Rep. Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, advanced legislation this week to safeguard patients of dementia care facilities by allowing their families to install electronic and audio monitoring devices in the rooms they occupy.
“Moving a relative living with dementia to an assisted living community is a hard decision even when it is the right one. Families often worry that they won’t be able to ensure their loved one is treated well,” said Didech. “Something as simple as a video or audio device can give families peace of mind and help ensure their loved one’s safety.”
Didech is the chief sponsor of Senate Bill 109 in the House, which would give families the ability to monitor their loved ones in dementia care facilities, as well as monitor the quality of the care they are receiving if the consent of the roommate, if any, is provided. State Senator Terry Link, D-Indian Creek, introduced the measure in the Senate, where the proposal passed unanimously in March.
“Dementia patients are especially vulnerable when they don’t have their families present,” said Link. “Instances of mistreatment in care facilities are rare, but they do happen. Allowing video monitoring will serve to prevent misconduct and give families comfort.”
Similar provisions in state law currently apply to patients in nursing homes and facilities for the developmentally disabled. Didech’s legislation advanced out of committee with bipartisan support and awaits further consideration on the House floor.
“Our elder care system works best when families are active and able to represent the best interests of their loved one,” said Didech. “This bill helps ensure the well-being of patients by allowing their families to be actively engaged in their care.”