House Approves Bill to Prevent Restrictions for Families Visiting Loved Ones in Healthcare Facilities

The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) to ensure senior citizens and other healthcare facility residents are permitted to have visitors, even in a pandemic.

“Over the last two years, senior citizens and individuals living in healthcare facilities were isolated from their loved ones as a result of Governor Pritzker’s executive orders. The bill approved today will ensure people are not denied the ability to visit their family and friends residing in a healthcare facility and that nobody will be forced to die alone,” said Rep. Caulkins.  

Due to executive orders in response to COVID-19, no exceptions existed to allow for end-of-life visitation with a family member in a healthcare facility. Even as mitigation rules were changed in response to the pandemic, residents in skilled nursing homes, extended care, or intermediate care facilities were denied even one visitor. Under SB 1405, at least one visitor, not including a member of the clergy, must be permitted to visit a loved one. Healthcare facilities are empowered to set safety guidelines and ensure that neither the patient nor visitor are endangered by the visit, but no longer could they be outright denied due to an executive order.

SB 1405 co-sponsored by Rep. Caulkins was amended in the House and the bill now heads back to the Senate for a concurrence vote before being sent to the Governor for his signature.