Pritzker signs legislation aimed at protecting senior citizens
SPRINGFIELD — Joined by legislators, advocates, and the Illinois Department of Aging (IDoA) on Senior Day at the Illinois State Fair, Gov. JB Pritzker today signed legislation that reflects the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The four pieces of bipartisan legislation, Senate Bill 677, House Bill 848, House Bill 2570, and House Bill 3147 expand equitable access to healthcare for Illinois’ aging population. The legislation also makes Illinois the first nation to require regular Alzheimer’s Disease training for all licensed healthcare professionals serving adults.
“I am excited to sign four pieces of legislation that will make Illinois an even safer state for seniors,” said Pritzker said. “I’d like to thank IDoA for hosting a spectacular Senior Day at the fair, the elected officials in attendance for spearheading these important bills, and to all the care providers who support our seniors every day. Together, the steps we’re taking today mark a bipartisan commitment to ensuring that Illinois seniors can live their best lives.”
Illinois Department of Aging Director Paula Basta said: “The past year has been challenging for all of us, but especially for older adults. So, this legislation reflects the administration’s continued commitment to providing critical services to older Illinoisans above the age of 60. I would like to thank Governor Pritzker for his leadership throughout the pandemic. And I would also like to thank the Alzheimer’s Association, stakeholders, and our legislators for their work to expand Alzheimer’s care, support, awareness and education. This package of legislation is about respecting yesterday, supporting today, and planning for tomorrow.”
Senate Bill 677
Individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias deserve to receive an accurate diagnosis to be able to plan for the future; however, the disease is too often under diagnosed. As part of the administration’s ongoing efforts to combat Alzheimer’s, SB 677 requires licensed health care professionals, who have direct patient interaction with adults age 26 and older, to complete at least a one-hour course in diagnosis, treatment, and care on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The curriculum will include content on how to identify and diagnose Alzheimer’s, effective communication strategies, and management and care planning.
To accurately and effectively provide care and guidance to individuals living with Alzheimer’s, the legislation better equips healthcare professionals, including those serving residents in historically underserved communities, with the tools they need to continue their medical education. This legislation advances Illinois’ national leadership in expanding Alzheimer’s awareness.
“These bills reflect our commitment to ensuring our seniors get the best resources and care the state has to offer,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. “I’m especially proud of the groundbreaking SB 677 which makes Illinois the first state in the nation to require Alzheimer’s diagnosis training for healthcare professionals. I know from personal experience this will improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s and their loved ones.”