SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department on Aging Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., is thanking family caregivers for making an extra effort to provide special attention and assistance to their loved ones. Director Holton made the comments on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday in conjunction with the November National Family Caregivers Month observance.
“As we gather with our families for the holiday, we should also make it a point to acknowledge those family members who give an extra hand to assist older relatives. And since Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, it’s the perfect time for families to pay attention to older relatives. They may not ask for help, but are most often appreciative for the assistance,” said Director Holton.
Signs that indicate older adults may need assistance 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
• A loved one may be mishandling their finances, for example, not paying their bills or losing money.
Family caregivers help their loved ones with a broad range of activities which can be a critical component in providing long term care for older adults. Many older adults would have difficulty remaining in their homes and community without the support of their relatives and caregivers. But caregivers also need support or they risk putting their own health and well-being at risk.
The Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA) has set up more than 100 Caregiver Resource Centers across the state for family caregivers to receive support. Through its partnership with the 13 Area Agencies on Aging and local service providers, IDoA offers information, assistance, training, counseling and respite care through the Family Caregiver Support Program.
For more information about program services to assist older adults in Illinois and their caregivers, log on to the website at www.state.il.us/aging/ or call the Department on Aging Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 or for TTY (hearing impaired use only) call 1-888-206-1327.