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  2001 Press Releases  

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

November 16, 2001

Statewide Program Reaches Out to Family Caregivers – Announced during National Family Caregiver Month

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Family members and friends who care for older adults can now receive assistance through a new state program, Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber announced today.

"Local agencies serving seniors will expand their target audience, and will offer additional help to family members and friends who are caring for their loved ones," Schreiber said. "It is one more way to fulfill Governor Ryan’s agenda of making Department services more accessible to a broader range of Illinoisans."

Schreiber explained that the Department on Aging and Area Agencies on Aging throughout the state have established more than 100 "Caregiver Resource Centers" within existing, familiar locations like senior centers. The centers will offer information and assistance, and direct family caregivers to the right places to receive additional services. Services range from training and support groups to respite, or services that allow caregivers to take a break from the constant demands of caregiving.

Schreiber said it is an especially appropriate time to announce the new efforts to help caregivers because November is National Family Caregiver Month, and the holiday season provides an opportunity to check on older relatives, as well as those caring for them.

She noted that family caregivers often neglect their own needs because they are so busy, and they are prone to health problems including depression. They also often become overwhelmed with financial and emotional demands associated with caregiving.

The Illinois Department on Aging and the state’s 13 Area Agencies on Aging established the Caregiver Resource Centers as part of the National Family Caregiver Support Program, which was created when the federal Older Americans Act was reauthorized in 2000.

Through the program, Illinois received $4.7 million which was distributed through Area Agencies on Aging. Governor George H. Ryan appointed a Caregiver Advisory Committee to help in the ongoing implementation.

"Many times we think of parents making sacrifices for their children’s well-being. I hope people will come to realize that later in life often the reverse is true, and that the Illinois Department on Aging wants to be there to help," Schreiber said.

For information about services for older people and their caregivers, contact the Illinois Department on Aging’s toll-free Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY). A list of Caregiver Resource Centers is attached.



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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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