Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Nursing Homes with AARP Illinois

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today spoke with AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo and State Chapter President Rosanna Marquez about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on older Americans, especially at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. On the call, Durbin discussed the importance of passing a new COVID-19 emergency relief bill that includes dedicated testing and personal protection equipment (PPE) funding to ensure the safety of seniors in long-term care facilities. Durbin also shared his support for protecting Social Security benefits amid the financial toll the pandemic will place on the program. Finally, they discussed the importance of boosting financial support for senior nutrition programs and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

“The AARP has been an incredible resource in having eyes and ears on the ground in Illinois as nursing homes and other long-term care facilities battle this virus. I’ll fight alongside them to keep our seniors safe, healthy, and financially stable. It’s imperative for the Senate to come together and pass an emergency relief bill that provides funding to support nursing home residents and staff,” Durbin said.

More than 101,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities nationwide have died from COVID-19, which represents 40 percent of all COVID deaths.  In Illinois, there have been 6,527 deaths in long-term care facilities. A recent AARP survey found that more than one in five nursing homes still report PPE shortages.