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The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield. (Photo by Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

I am a senior citizen.  An important bill is now before our state legislature, HB 4180, that is backed by the AARP and the National Continuing Care Residents Association.  This bill grants residents of retirement homes the right to participate in its governance.  

I live in a nonprofit “life care home.” Currently residents have no access to the governing board. Although I sold my home and invested the money in a unit in a nonprofit facility to live here for the rest of my life, I have no say in how this “home” is run. 

Each year the monthly service fee goes up; last year the board of trustees increased my monthly fee over 5% without any consultation with the residents.  And although I am charged more, the services have been reduced.  

Please help the residents of life care facilities like me, and ask your state representatives to support this bill. 

Donald Scott

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  1. I agree almost totally with my neighbor-friend Don Scott. I spent decades on faculty and years in faculty senate at Roosevelt University (private, egalitarian, non-discriminatory since its founding in 1945, and definitely non-profit). That allowed me to see at arm’s length how a board of trustees can better meet its obligations when other stakeholders (faculty, and even students!) are represented. I qualify my comment only because I sense a focus on the financial implications (annual increases, and more), that are truly scary for us residents who are not truly well-heeled. That is valid, but should not ignore the fact that administrations are grappling now with problems that include nearly-runaway inflation. That too calls for cooperative, representative, attention.

  2. So glad to see this letter. The Mather Evanston residents are strongly behind this bill and urge all readers to contact their state representative about supporting HB4180.

  3. I also live in a CCRC and our fee is being raised by 6%. The promised weekly apartment cleaning often does not happen as low pay means no workers are available and those hired leave for better jobs. Resident committees can only make suggestions/recommendations. We feel trapped as we have put so much money into our entrance fee that leaving would be prohibitively expensive and the situation elsewhere might not be any better. Many residents have great management experience and expertise in law, accounting, etc. and could be a valuable asset to management.