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  2001 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jan Costello
Phone: 217-785-9020, TTY: 1-800-252-8966

May 21, 2001

Family Caregiving Highlights Successful Teleconference

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber said today that input from a public dialogue focusing on family caregiving needs will be used in shaping new policies to improve caregiving services statewide.

Schreiber said the public dialogue, which originated in Springfield on May 16, 2001 was broadcast to twenty-eight locations in Illinois, other Midwestern states and Canada. It attracted nearly 400 people ranging in age from eight to ninety–eight, representing all generations and backgrounds. It was held to celebrate Older Americans Month as well as Intergenerational Week, May 13 – 19, 2001.

"This was the first time the Department held such a large–scale event seeking input from family caregivers," Schreiber said. "The overwhelming response and enthusiasm for it reinforces that we need to do a better job in caring for caregivers. This will be very helpful as the Department launches a stronger support system for individuals in these challenging situations."

Schreiber said the theme for the intergenerational dialogue centered on caregiving because the Older Americans Act amendments of 2000 created the Family Caregiver Support Program. That program is designed to serve family caregivers with information, assistance, training, individual counseling and respite.

The program distributes $125 million in federal dollars to states; Illinois’ portion is $4.7 million.

After the Department formalizes its plan later this year, funds will be released to the state’s thirteen Area Agencies on Aging for community–based services.

"As the new Census figures show, the nation has more older people than ever before, as well as more middle–aged people," Schreiber said. "There couldn’t be a better or more urgent time to address family caregiving issues."

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Anyone interested in viewing a videotape of the dialogue on caregiving, which was lead by intergenerational authority Dr. James Gambone, or for more information, may contact the Illinois Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY).



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