Bill sponsored by Crystal Lake Democrat requires Meals on Wheels recipients be given fact sheets

Fact sheets are to point recipients to information on diabetes, elder abuse and neglect, elder financial exploitation, Social Security and Medicare benefits

Meals on Wheels recipients are on track to now get fact sheets with their home-delivered meals, pointing them to information on diabetes, elder abuse and neglect, elder financial exploitation, and Social Security and Medicare benefits.

The bill requiring the informational factsheets was sponsored in the Illinois House by state Rep. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, along with six other legislators, including state Reps. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Oswego, and Anna Moeller, D-Elgin.

After the House passed the bill unanimously April 21, it was sponsored in the Senate by four legislators, including state Sens. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, and Adriane Johnson, D-Buffalo Grove. It also passed unanimously there.

The bill now awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature.

Ness in a news release said she sponsored the legislation to help older residents maintain healthy, dignified and independent lives.

“Senior citizens have been some of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, with many still trying to recover,” Ness said in the release. “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.”

The fact sheets, which the Illinois Department on Aging is required to produce and have distributed to those who receive home-delivered meals through the Meals on Wheels program, must include a current list of toll-free phone numbers where they can get information in a language they understand on diabetes, elder abuse and neglect, elder financial exploitation, Social Security and Medicare benefits, according to the release.