For the purposes of programs and services, the Illinois Department on Aging defines a caregiver as anyone assisting, an older adult 60+, an adult 19-59 with a disability, and a child 18 and under that is not the biological child of the caregiver, with daily tasks such as transportation, managing finances, bathing, dressing and any other activity of daily living that your loved one may need assistance with to have a successful day. Based on a 2020 AARP study
, we estimate that there are approximately 523,186 total caregivers in suburban Cook County. To learn more about the caregiver data landscape in suburban Cook County, click here
. Caring for an older adult can be a rewarding yet challenging experience. AgeOptions and our partner agencies offer a variety of resources to assist caregivers in caring for both their loved one and themselves. These include in-home and out-of-home respite care, support groups, counseling, education, and other services.
Services offered through Caregiver Resource Centers
AgeOptions funds nine Caregiver Resource Centers (link to the Caregiver Resource Center specific page) which are our partner agencies that provide supports and services to caregivers across suburban Cook County. If you are looking for information on the Caregiver Resource Center in your area that provides counseling, respite, support groups, training and other resources to caregivers, please click here. Click here
to see a schedule of support groups and events provided by Caregiver Resource Centers.
Caregiver Respite Care
The purpose of respite care is to allow caregivers time to self-care while a trained professional temporarily takes over their caregiving duties. AgeOptions’ Caregiver Resource Centers can help connect families caring for older adults or adults with disabilities at home with needed respite and in-home services.
Looking for opportunities to connect and learn as a caregiver? AgeOptions’ Caregiver Resource Centers provide programming and educational opportunities so that you can connect with other caregivers and learn about specific caregiver topics. Educational offerings include, but are not limited to, Evidence Based Programs such as Stress Busting for Family Caregivers
and Powerful Tools for Caregiving
, both of which can be offered in person and virtually. AgeOptions is a proud recipient of the SAGECare platinum credential, signifying our commitment to LGBT+ inclusivity. You can find resources about LGBT+ Caregiving at www.sageusa.org/caregiving
Emergency Financial Support (Gap Filling Assistance)
If you are a caregiver of an older adult (60+) or a minor relative (18 and under), you may be eligible to receive gap filling assistance. Connect with one of our Caregiver Resource Centers to determine if you are eligible for this limited financial assistance that is meant to assist caregivers with unmet needs to maintain a care recipient’s independence, safety, and well-being.
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
In Illinois, 211,919 children under the age of 18 live in grandparent/kinship-headed households. That means 101,951 grandparents or other adult family members are responsible for caring for these children. AgeOptions and our partner agencies support grandparents and other non-parent relatives who are raising children (age 18 and under) or caring for persons with disabilities who are between the ages of 19 and 59. If you are a Grandparent or other Relative raising a child, reach out to the Caregiver Resource Center (link to CRC page) in your area to be connected to services such as support groups, emergency gap filling financial assistance, and more. If you are a relative raising a child and want to learn more about the Grandparents or other Relatives Raising Children program, click here
. If you are a professional that works with relatives raising children and want to learn more about the Grandparents or other Relatives Raising Children program, click here