About ICBC

Illinois Citizens for Better Care is the Illinois nursing home residents' advocacy and service organization. Since 1978, ICBC has worked to improve the care and quality of the life of Illinois nursing home residents.


Our primary focus is helping individual residents, families, and resident and family organizations. Every year we help families choose a nursing home, shorten nursing home stays or avoid nursing home placement altogether by helping them find alternative care, improve poor or abusive nursing home care, and cope with Medicaid and Medicare. People who call us for help finding a nursing home get the benefit of our unique data base to get information about services various nursing homes provide, their violation histories, and the experiences our members have had with them. We charge nothing for any these services, and get no government grants to support our work.


ICBC also works as an advocate for nursing home residents with Congress, the Illinois legislature and various government agencies. We are one of the leaders of current nursing home reform efforts.  We worked extensively with the Chicago Tribune for more than a year on its dozens of stories about inadequate and dangerous "care" for elderly people living in nursing homes, persons with a serious mental illness, and children and adults with developmental disabilities.  We also worked closely with the Chicago Reporter on its stories about racially-discriminatory nursing home staffing.  We then followed through by writing and playing a major part in getting passed, in 2010 and 2011, the most significant nursing home reform legislation in Illinois in a generation.  


The first visible fruit of that reform is increased nursing home staffing.  Higher staffing requirements are now in effect; by January or 2014,  the total amount of nursing staff time for residents will be one and a half times what it was when the push for nursing home reform began in 2009.