SPRINGFIELD - In observance of November as National Family Caregivers Month, Illinois Department on Aging Director John K Holton, Ph.D., thanks family caregivers for their support of family members who need assistance.
“Family caregivers are critical in providing long term care for older adults”, said Director Holton. “We want to make sure families are aware of resources available to help their efforts to provide the best quality of life for their loved ones.”
Caregivers help their loved ones with a broad range of activities, such as bathing, dressing, cooking and eating. In addition, caregivers may have to assist with legal and financial matters, such as making medical decisions, paying bills, handling investments and budgeting accounts.
The Illinois Department on Aging set up more than 100 Caregiver Resource Centers across the state. By partnering with the 13 Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers, family caregivers receive information, assistance, training, counseling and respite care through the Family Caregiver Support Program.
This is also the kick off the holiday season. Director Holton encourages families to use the time they spend together to look for signs that could indicate that older relatives may need assistance. Signs include:
• Decreased mobility, forgetfulness
• Neglected personal hygiene
• Change in appetite
• Unfilled and/or unopened medical prescriptions
• Lack of home maintenance
• Unusual display of unopened mail
• Mishandled finances, for example not paying bills or losing money.
For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, call the Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or for TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 1-888-206-1327.