Rep. Wheeler files Seniors Deserve Dignity bill to help older adults afford personal care needs

Rep. Wheeler meets with Gloria Deizman, president of the Residents Council of Heritage Woods of Yorkville.

Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, has filed new legislation in the Illinois House of Representatives to increase direct cash assistance to seniors who reside in supportive living facilities to help them afford to meet their personal care needs.

“Inflation is crushing older adults on very fixed incomes, especially those who reside in assisted living,” Rep. Wheeler said. “I am offering a common-sense proposal that would provide meaningful assistance to these seniors by increasing the monthly personal needs allowance to offset the impact of inflation on those who can least afford it.”

Specifically, Rep. Wheeler’s legislation, House Bill 5825, would establish the “Seniors Deserve Dignity Program” to provide an additional $30 in monthly assistance to seniors who reside in supportive living facilities to supplement the meager and insufficient current $90 monthly personal needs allowance (PNA) to pay for expenses not covered by Medicaid.

The Seniors Deserve Dignity Program was inspired by Yorkville resident Gloria Deizman, president of the Residents Council of Heritage Woods, who became an advocate for her neighbors struggling to afford basic necessities. “I would like to thank Gloria for reaching out to me and being a voice for local seniors,” Rep. Wheeler said. “Passing this legislation would be one step toward more fully meeting the needs of our older adults on fixed incomes both now and in the future.”

The Illinois House of Representatives is scheduled to return to Springfield for Fall Veto Session November 15-17 and November 29-December 1. If passed and signed into law, Illinois seniors would be able to benefit from the increased personal needs allowance starting on July 1, 2023.