A letter to the Editor found in today's Daily Herald,
Our Illinois veterans homes are in need of health care staff. The state (Gov. Rod Blagojevich) needs to release the funds for staffing the empty beds in all the Illinois facilities. We have close to 500 or more honorably discharged veterans waiting to be admitted. Some veterans are told the wait could be between 8 months to 2 years. This wait is no way to treat our veterans. The state has the funds — it just needs to allocate them differently. I know everyone wants their piece of the pie, but these individuals deserve the whole thing.And a little follow up to confirm Mr Hurst's numbers. This from the Chicago Tribune back in July,
Q. I'm a disabled veteran. Are there nursing homes in Illinois for veterans?Anyone know if Gov Blagojevich hired those 25 nurses?
A. Illinois has four nursing homes for veterans, located in LaSalle, Manteno, Anna and Quincy. You can apply at each home for a spot. But you should be prepared to wait. For example, 409 people are on the waiting list for a place in the veterans' home in LaSalle. Currently, 147 people are on the waiting list for a spot at the Manteno facility, according to a spokesperson at the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs in Springfield.
Why the long list? Nursing homes for veterans are a good deal. Veterans in Illinois pay $929 a month for care, a fraction of the cost of a private nursing home. Ironically, even though the homes have big waiting lists, they also have vacancies. Funds have not been available to fully staff the buildings, though the Veterans' Affairs Department spokesperson said there are plans this year to add 25 nurses so the vacant beds can be filled.
Cross Posted at Bill Baar's West Side