Senior and Family Caregiver Services
Specialized programs for the elderly began at Family Service in the 1970s and have expanded rapidly in recent years in response to growth of the senior population in Lake and northern Cook Counties. In Lake County alone, seniors age 65 and older number 73,093, or 10.4% of residents (2010 Census). Family Service strives to provide programs, services, and referrals that respond to identified needs of the growing senior population. All programs and services are provided without out-of-pocket cost to clients.
Family Service clinicians and senior advocates understand that a lack of knowledge of and access to resources are serious barriers to seniors’ independence. Many seniors are unfamiliar with private insurance, county health department providers, and area facilities. Barriers to independence may include: Medical illiteracy, limited transportation, limited financial resources, and language barriers, the latter increasingly an issue for the rapidly-growing Latino senior population.
Family Service addresses social service, social-emotional needs, and medical-care referral and linkage through the following programs for seniors and family caregivers. Many services are provided at no out-of-pocket cost to clients.
- Senior Services, Counseling, and Advocavy Family Service provides direct assistance to seniors through the Highland Park, Deerfield, and Lake Forest Senior Centers, as well as at our Lake County offices and with in-home services for homebound seniors. Assistance includes counseling by our licensed clinicians and case management by senior advocates for seniors facing the unique changes and challenges brought on by age.
- Family Caregiver Counseling and Caregiver Support Groups Staff also assists family members in coping with relatives’ changing needs, and consults with senior-center staff on mental-health and care management issues of seniors and caregivers. Services are provided to individual family caregivers, including relatives raising minor children, and through several ongoing caregiver support groups.
- Caregiver Resource Center In 2009, Family Service began administering funds through a grant from the Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging to provide assistance to family caregivers of seniors and relatives raising minor children needing information and referrals, respite (providing a break from caregiver responsibilities), gap-filling (the cost of handicapped rails, etc.), and help with legal issues. The agency also is funded through NEIAAA to provide caregiver counseling.