(CBS) — Starting next year, a new state law could mean kinder, gentler experiences for nursing home residents.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill that was called for by Attorney General Lisa Madigan to offer peace of mind for families who wonder if their relatives are being properly cared for in nursing homes.

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Each year, the Illinois Department of Health fields thousands of calls on nursing home abuse. Now, cameras and audio devices are going to be allowed to be placed in residents’ rooms to keep a more watchful eye.

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Madigan says there is a lot of angst in placing a loved one into a home.

“Deciding to put a loved one into a nursing facility is a very difficult decision and this law now makes Illinois one of the first states in the nation to give families peace of mind,” Madigan said.

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The law takes effect Jan. 1, but the residents or their families must pay for the devices.