caregiver 022421SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham has introduced a measure to make home services more available and affordable, helping older adults and people with disabilities continue to live in their own homes.

“Older adults should have every opportunity to live in their own homes as long as possible,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “And, people with disabilities deserve to live independently whenever possible.”

Cunningham’s legislation would allow home care aides, rather than nurses, to perform certain basic tasks that don’t require medical expertise. For example, they would be allowed to bathe their clients, apply topical prescription ointments, assist with eating, and apply prescription hair treatments.

“These home care aides are in their clients’ homes weekly, sometimes daily,” Cunningham said. “They build strong relationships and truly get to know their clients’ needs. If their clients are comfortable with them helping with these tasks, they should be able to.”

Though Cunningham respects the role that nurses and other medical professionals play in caring for older adults and people with disabilities, he believes this measure is necessary to ensure that people aren’t being unnecessarily forced to transition to nursing homes because they can’t afford nurse visits or find nursing providers who will come to their homes.

Senate Bill 221 is currently in the Senate Committee on Assignments.