Illinois legislation expected to be imminently signed into law would give the state’s residents—no matter their race, ethnicity, or class—broader access to in-home care and the ability to age in place.
Senate Bill 2773 has already passed both chambers of the General Assembly with unanimous approval and now awaits Governor Pat Quinn’s signature, urged on by AARP.
State Senator Jacqueline Collins and Representative Ken Dunkin sponsored SB 2773, which establishes a task force whose sole purpose is to identify and address disparities across the spectrum of services that older adults rely on when receiving care at home or in a facility.
“AARP applauds the bill sponsors and the entire General Assembly for taking a positive step toward addressing the racial, ethnic and class disparities that exist in Illinois’ long term care system,” said David Vinkler, Associate State Director with AARP Illinois, in a statement. “It is important that people are able to live independently as they age and that we look at quality of care issues with a focus towards addressing disparities where they exist.”
The legislation intends to seek out and fix disparities in the availability of critical care serves to older adults and was spearheaded by AARP’s advocacy work against what it says is “Illinois’ well-documented history” of racial and ethnic disparities in quality services.
The Long Term Care Services and Supports Disparities Task Force will be responsibly for documenting the number and type of long-term care providers in Illinois and how many clients they serve, and comparing multi-year data to identify trends in the delivery of long-term care for various racial and ethnic groups. The task force will then provide recommendations to address where they see disparities in the use and quality of care.
For the purposes of the task force, long-term care services encompass housekeeping, transportation, bill paying, meals, personal care, in-home care provided by a nurse or paid health care professional, and other social or medical care services received outside the home.
“The vast majority of older people would like to live with independence in their homes and communities with the care they want and need for as long as they are able,” said Vinkler. “Taking the time to study this issue will help to ensure that people can live in their homes and communities for as long as possible with adequate resources and supports.”