Legislation passed out of the Illinois Senate this week that would provide families with more of an ability to visit their loved ones in healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Bill 1405 ensures the opportunity for at least one visitor of a patient in a hospital or long-term care facility while also maintaining the health and safety of the patients, staff, and visitors.
State Senator Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) proposed the legislation on behalf of a constituent’s family, who endured the passing of 91-year-old Bob McGinnis of Libertyville. Bob’s loved ones were not able to see or visit him in the days leading up to his death.
“The McGinnis’ family’s story is unfortunately not a unique one. It’s one that we have heard time and time again from families across the state and country, who were not able to be with their loved ones during some of their most difficult moments,” said Sen. McConchie. “This pandemic has taken an emotional and mental toll on too many and we must do what we can to help families during these trying times. This legislation makes it clear that allowing visitors in hospitals and long-term care facilities is a priority when at all possible.”
“On behalf of the Bob McGinnis family, I would like to thank Leader McConchie for his diligence in developing this amendment to Senate Bill 1405,” said Kellie Sheridan, granddaughter of Bob McGinnis. “While our family is devastated about the manner in which my grandfather passed, we are hopeful that this amendment will prevent other patients and their families from the suffering we endured. Patients deserve human contact from those they love when they are in care facilities. We believe this amendment impacts all families and will support the mental and emotional well-being of patients across Illinois.”
“Family connection and social interaction are essential for the overall health of vulnerable seniors who call long-term care facilities home,” said HCCI Executive Director Matt Pickering. “We are pleased to support legislation that promotes person-centered care and quality of life for senior patients.”
To ensure that the health and safety of staff, patients, and visitors are not jeopardized, Senate Bill 1405 allows healthcare facilities to maintain standards including health screenings and the use of personal protective equipment.
Senate Bill 1405 passed the Senate without opposition and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Click here to watch a video about how Sen. McConchie worked with a constituent to bring this bill forward.