ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – With the COVID-19 pandemic causing many seniors to be isolated from their loved ones, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, passed legislation out of the House directing nursing homes to provide residents with virtual visits during disasters.
“As we have seen while we quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to virtually connect with loved ones is an important piece of many people’s lives,” said Manley. “Unfortunately, seniors in nursing homes and other facilities haven’t always had the resources necessary to virtually connect with their family and friends. My bill will ensure that seniors aren’t isolated in long-term living facilities during emergencies such as the current pandemic.”
House Bill 3147, which passed the House unanimously, requires nursing homes to facilitate a video or phone call upon request from residents to a family member during each day of a disaster declared by the Governor. In addition, the bill directs hospitals to create a contact policy encouraging patients’ ability to contact family members during pandemics or other public emergencies.
Throughout her time as a state representative, Manley has been an advocate for seniors. This session, Manley introduced legislation expanding grants to support those with Alzheimer’s Disease. As part of her efforts to hear about the issues affecting seniors, Manley will be resuming her monthly retiree legislative advisory committee meetings once it is safe to do so.
“Everyone deserves to have contact with those important to them, especially when times are tough,” said Manley. “It is critical that seniors have access to technology that connects them with others, and I will continue to work to ensure seniors are supported during the pandemic and beyond.”