SPRINGFIELD – Older adults in Illinois who receive home-delivered meal services would have critical—and even life-saving—information at their fingertips under legislation proposed by State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove).

04202021CM0095“Many of our older neighbors might not have easy access to the internet. As a result, they might find it difficult to connect with programs and resources available to them,” Johnson said. “By providing them a hard copy of toll-free phone numbers and other helpful information, we’re putting these important services within reach.”

The legislation would require recipients of home-delivered meals to receive an annual fact sheet developed by the Department on Aging with a current list of toll-free numbers to access information on various health conditions, elder abuse and programs for seniors. Recipients would also receive updates on any new programs for older adults.

About 12 million meals were delivered to over 144,000 older adults in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic, when congregate dining sites were closed, according to the Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging. The lack of in-person interaction during the pandemic interrupted traditional communication channels for many older adults, who as a result missed out on important service updates and opportunities.

“Some older adults in the community are more than comfortable with smartphones and computers, but others prefer to receive their news in print,” Johnson said. “It’s important that we use a variety of strategies to make information available to as many residents as possible.”

House Bill 32 passed the Senate Healthcare Access and Availability Committee Tuesday and now heads to the full Senate.

Category: Press Release

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