Caregiving in Crisis

AgeOptions says Thank You to the 53 million unpaid family members and friends who are caregivers in the US, and to all the grandparents and older adults raising children under 18.

Every November, National Family Caregivers Month recognizes and honors family caregivers across the country. Led by Caregiver Action Network, it is also an opportunity to raise awareness of caregiving issues, educate communities, and increase support for caregivers. This year’s theme, #CaregivingInCrisis, highlights the new realities that caregivers and their loved ones face during these uncertain times.

Did You Know?

  • A caregiver is anyone who provides assistance on daily tasks to another person over time. Caregivers include those caring for older family members or friends and those raising a child under 18 who is not their own. If you are assisting another person with daily tasks or household chores, you are a caregiver.
  • There are 53 million unpaid caregivers in the US today. Families are the primary source of support for older adults and people with disabilities in the US.
  • Caregiving takes a significant emotional, physical and financial toll on caregivers.
  • Nearly half of all caregivers are over age 50 and may be vulnerable to a decline in their own health. Many caregivers work and also provide care, experiencing conflicts between competing responsibilities.
  • Studies show that coordinated support services can reduce caregiver depression, anxiety and stress and enable people to provide care longer, which avoids or delays the need for institutional care.
  • LGBT+ people are more likely to become caregivers. Because LGBT+ older adults are less likely to be partnered, and less likely to have children, friends, neighbors, expartners and other unrelated individuals play a greater part in caregiving for LGBT+ older adults.
  • LGBT+ caregivers are more likely to feel alone in their role or be socially isolated, which increases stress and can lead to negative mental and physical health outcomes.
  • Nationally, 5.7 million children under the age of 18 live in households headed by grandparents or other unrelated adults.
  • In Illinois, 101,951 grandparents and other unrelated older adults are responsible for 211,909 children under the age of 18 who are living with them. Of these, 40,152 have been responsible for their grandchildren five years or more.
  • Grandparents Raising Grandchildren is an Illinois Department of Aging-funded kinship care program that provides assistance to grandparents and adults 55 and older caring for children 18 and younger within the home.

Where Can Caregivers Get Information and Assistance?

All Caregivers

  • Connect to a Caregiver Resource Center. AgeOptions funds nine caregiver resource centers across suburban Cook County. They provide supports and services such as one-on-one counseling, support groups, respite, memory cafes and more.
  • Visit, select Caregiver Resource Center and enter your home address to contact a Caregiver Specialist. You may also call AgeOptions at (708)383-0258 or (800)699-9043.

Grandparents & Older Adults Raising Children

  • AgeOptions can connect grandparents and older adults raising children with:
    • Community resources
    • Child care
    • Medical coverage
    • Financial assistance
    • Legal services
    • Advocacy with school enrollment
    • And much more!
  • Find a Caregiver Resource Center near you. Visit, select Caregiver Resource Center and enter your home address to contact a Caregiver Specialist. You may also call AgeOptions at (708)383-0258 or (800)699-9043.