SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To help our older neighbors maintain healthy, dignified and independent lives, state Rep. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, sponsored legislation to ensure seniors receiving Meals on Wheels have access to information on diabetes, elder abuse and neglect, financial exploitation, Social Security benefits and Medicare.
“Senior citizens have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many still trying to recover,” said Ness. “We have excellent resources and services in Illinois that are there to help out our most vulnerable residents, and we must ensure that seniors are aware of the resources available to them in an easy and accessible way.”
Ness is a co-sponsor of House Bill 32, which requires the Department on Aging to include informational fact sheets to individuals who receive home-delivered meals through the Meals on Wheels program. These fact sheets must include a current list of toll-free numbers to access information on diabetes, elder abuse and neglect, elder financial exploitation, Social Security benefits and Medicare, in a language in which the person understands. Ness’ measure passed unanimously out of both the House and the Senate and will be sent to the governor for consideration.
“The pandemic has been devastating for so many senior residents and their families, and programs like Meals on Wheels are integral in providing relief and assistance to communities,” said Ness. “This piece of legislation will enhance the Meals on Wheels program by putting critical resources in the hands of those who need it most. I am proud to have sponsored and helped pass this bill and I encourage the Governor to sign it into law.”