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  2002 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

October 4, 2002

National Documentary
to Air on Family Caregiving

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber encourages Illinoisans to watch an important two-hour national documentary on family caregiving. Titled "And Thou Shalt Honor," the program will air October 9, 2002, on PBS. (See listing below for local times).

"The documentary focuses on family members trying to make their way through the medical, financial and legal labyrinths of caregiving," said Schreiber. "The Illinois Department on Aging and the Aging Network fields questions from family members everyday who are confused, stressed and looking for answers. I think this documentary is exceptional and definitely worth viewing for anyone involved in caring for an aging parent or spouse."

Schreiber said the Illinois Department on Aging, Area Agencies on Aging and the Aging Network service providers recently implemented a new Family Caregiver Support Program to provide family caregivers with information, assistance, training, counseling and respite care. More than one hundred Caregiver Resource Centers – located in familiar locales such as senior centers – have been designated throughout the state just since last year.

"It is generally accepted that about 85 percent of all care provided to older people in our country is provided by family members, and it can be emotionally, physically and financially draining," Schreiber said.

According to the Administration on Aging, the average age of family caregivers caring for someone aged 50+ is 46. Other facts:

  • The majority of family caregivers are female.

  • Caregivers dedicate, on average, 20 hours per week to provide care for older persons and even more when the person has multiple disabilities.

  • Because caregiving is such an emotionally draining experience, caregivers experience depression at three times the rate of others in their same age group and they are more likely to become ill.

  • If the work of caregivers had to be replaced with home care staff, the estimated cost would be $45-94 billion per year.

During the airing of "And Thou Shalt Honor," Schreiber said some areas of the state have coordinated with PBS to promote local caregiving resources. In the east central Illinois area, for example, WILL Channel 12 viewers will have the opportunity to call in with questions to be answered by caregiving specialists.


"And Thou Shalt Honor. . ." will air October 9th at the following times:

  • WTTW 11 Chicago - 9 p.m and repeating October 11th at 2:30 a.m.
  • WILL-TV Urbana - 8 p.m.
  • WSIU 8/ WUSI 16 Carbondale - 8 p.m.
  • WQPT-TV Moline - 8 p.m.
  • WSEC Springfield - 8 p.m.
  • WQEC Quincy - 8 p.m.
  • WMEC Macomb - 8 p.m.

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For more information, call the Illinois Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY).



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