How to File a Complaint Against a Retirement Home in Southern Illinois


You can download or print the State Health Facilities Complaint Form shown in this illustration by visiting the Department of Public Health website.

Belleville News-Democrat


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What can you do if you have concerns about your own care or that of a loved one in a Eastern Metropolitan Area Nursing Home?

There are two agencies to help you troubleshoot and hold nursing homes accountable: the region’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Mediators work across Illinois, helping people understand the rights of nursing home residents under federal and state laws, resolve issues with facilities, and file complaints with the Department of Health. state health.

The Illinois Department of Public Health regulates nursing homes. It investigates complaints in addition to conducting regular inspections at each facility and issues citations when a nursing home and its staff do not follow federal and state regulations.

Residents and their advocates can report a variety of issues, ranging from suspected abuse and neglect to poor food quality.

Here are some tips to solve your problem:

Start at the local level

According to Tracie Ramel-Smith, who oversees the metro area ombudsman program, ombudsmen tell residents and families to bring their concern to the nursing home first, depending on the seriousness of the complaint. .

The state also encourages people to start at the local level. “Always give the facility administrator a chance to resolve the problem before referring it to an outside body for investigation,” the public health department says on its website.

However, for serious issues that could threaten a resident’s health or safety, Ramel-Smith suggests approaching the Illinois Department of Public Health directly.

If you don’t get results speaking with a nursing home manager, Ramel-Smith says you can ask an ombudsman to get involved and champion your case in the nursing home.

If that still doesn’t change, she said an ombudsman will talk to you about filing a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health. An ombudsman cannot table it without the permission of a resident.

You can reach ombudsmen in the Eastern Metropolitan Region to ask questions or report concerns by emailing and by phone at 800-233-4904 or 618-465-3298 ext. 127.

The Eastern Metropolitan Area Ombudsman Program operates out of Senior Services Plus, Inc., a not-for-profit social service agency for seniors with offices in Belleville and Alton. It serves nursing home residents in St. Clair, Madison, Clinton, Monroe, Randolph, Bond and Washington counties.

Be specific in your complaint

The Illinois Department of Public Health is asking people to include specific details in their nursing home complaints to help their inspectors investigate, including the following information:

  • Who is the resident of the retirement home concerned?
  • Who are the affected employees?
  • What happened to the resident?
  • When did it happen?
  • Where in the retirement home did the incident take place?
  • How was the resident injured? How could the resident have been potentially injured?
  • How was your complaint handled by the retirement home?

The state says the identity of anyone who files a complaint remains confidential. Illinois will only use your name and contact information to let you know the outcome of its investigation and how to appeal if your complaint is unfounded. But it is possible to file complaints anonymously.

You can file a complaint with the state health department by phone at 800-252-4343.

You can also download or print the state health facility complaint form. (Find the complaint form online at

Email the completed form to or mail to 525 W. Jefferson St. in Springfield, the central complaints registry of the Health Care Regulatory Bureau of the Department of Public Health of the United States. ‘Illinois.

The Metro East is home to investigative journalist Lexi Cortes. She grew up in Granite City, graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2014 and now lives in Collinsville. Lexi joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 2014 and won several state awards for her investigative reporting and community service.
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