Tuesday, November 08, 2022
Celebrated every November, National Family Caregivers Month is a time to recognize and honor the millions of Americans who step into the role of family caregiver. A family caregiver is someone who provides unpaid care to a loved one. They are often invaluable to their care recipients because they provide some degree of ongoing assistance with activities of daily living such as feeding, cooking, bathing, and walking.
This month offers an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and advocate for caregiver support. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), family caregivers provide an average of 37.4 unpaid hours of care per week – essentially making caregiving equivalent to a full-time job. There are currently over 1.5 million caregivers in Illinois and that number is likely to increase as the number of older adults increases.
The Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is one of the nation’s leading family caregiver organizations and they spearhead the celebration of National Family Caregivers Month. The theme for this year is #CaregivingHappens. The campaign reflects the reality of caregivers lives by communicating that caregiving just happens. The role of being a caregiver happens when we least expect it. Whether caregiving duties arise when we’re grocery shopping or in a work meeting, it is not always convenient, and it can often disrupt plans.
It’s important for caregivers to take care of their own physical as well as mental health. Supporting caregivers with information, resources and accessible services can help them maintain their health and better serve their loved ones. If you are caring for a loved one, please consider taking a moment to complete our caregiver assessment screening tool here. This short survey will evaluate your current level of need for caregiving supports. Once you submit the survey, a local case manager will contact you to offer personalized resources based on your unique needs, to help you on your caregiving journey.
At AgeGuide, there are a variety of caregiver support services available:
- Caregiver Resource
- Financial Assistance and Support
- Caregiver Counseling
- Training & Education
- Support Groups
- Caregiver Assessments
- Relatives Raising Children Program (Grandparents Raising Grandchildren)
Each county in our service region (DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will County) has a specific caregiver service provider. To read more about each service and to find which agency provides that service in your area, visit the AgeGuide website.