Fact Sheets

ICBC has published a number of one-page fact sheets about issues many families and visitors face when they try to help a nursing home resident. The City of Chicago and other ombudsman programs use them to educate residents and families about various residents' rights issues.  We hope you find them helpful.


Our national counterpart, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (formerly NCCNHR,) and the Alzheimer's Association of Greater Chicago have both published some longer informational material that you may also find helpful.  


ICBC Fact Sheets

Authorization Form for Release of Nursing Home Records

A resident can use this document to give somebody permission to see and copy the resident's nursing home records.


Choices About How to Meet Your Medicaid Spend-Down

Most people think that if a nursing home resident is getting Medicaid to pay for her nursing home care, all her income (except $30) every month must be used to pay for her nursing home care.  This is not true.  This fact sheet explains how a resident can use her income to pay for other medical care, including medical care that Medicaid does not cover.


Psychotropic Drugs 

Overprescription of psychotropic drugs (that affect how a person thinks or perceives reality) is a common and life-threatening problem for nursing home residents.  This fact sheet summarizes the requirements for giving a resident a psychotropic medication. 



Using some kind of physical restraint to keep nursing home residents from standing up or moving around, was common for many years.  It has become clear that using them is dangerous and almost always unnecessary.  This fact sheet explains the process nursing home staff are required to follow if they want to use a restraint on a resident, including the resident's right to refuse


Right to Have Visitors

This is probably our most popular fact sheet.  It explains under what circumstances a resident has a right to have visitors whenever she wants. 


Right to See and Copy Records

A relative or friend trying to see if a resident is getting appropriate care, may need access to the resident's nursing home or other medical records.  This fact sheet explains what is a nursing home's obligation to give a resident,  somebody acting for the resident, or somebody acting with the resident's consent, access to the resident's medical records.



The National Consumer Voice for Long- Term Care  (formerly National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform NCCNHR) Fact Sheets


In addition to our own fact sheets, we recommend the following helpful information from The National Consumer Voice for Long- Term Care (fomerly the National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR.)Our national organization, The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (formerly NCCNHR,)  has published some longer informational material that you may find helpful.


Nutrition and Hydration 

This is a wonderful explanation of how to keep a resident from experiencing malnutrition and dehydration, and what to do if it does occur.


Resident Rights

This is a summary of rights guaranteed to all residents living in homes that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs, including residents who do not get Medicare or Medicaid.  It does not include rights created only by Illinois law.


Assessment and Care Planning

This is a shorter version of the care planning process we describe in Chapters 6 and 7 of SMARTCARE.  



The Alzheimer's Association of Greater Chicago 

Encouraging Comfort Care: A Guide for Families of People with Dementia Living in Care Facilities 

This is a wonderfully informative booklet from the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.  It begins with a detailed description of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and how they can be expected affect a person's ability to function.  It then discusses how nursing home staff can provide good care to people with dementia, medical decisions you may have to make, and how a person's family and friends can make visits meaningful and enjoyable.