As the largest city in the Midwest, Chicago offers a wide range of activities, attractions, special events, and more. People with dementia and their caregivers, however, may need a little extra help to enjoy all that Chicago has to offer. If you’re caring for a loved one with dementia, these resources can help lighten the load.
No caregiver can do it all. Caregiving is exhausting, emotionally wrenching work. These resources can help make it a bit easier:
- The Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, which offers a support group, educational outreach, and other local programs.
- Chicago’s Caregiving Support Groups. These free drop-in groups require no pre-registration.
- Chicago Methodist Senior Services, which offers a caregiver support group, as well as help to access a wide range of other resources.
- The Illinois Family Caregiver Support Program, which offers access to a wide range of free and low-cost caregiver support programs and services.
Activities and Outings
Dementia caregiving is about more than just tending to your loved one’s physical needs. Exercise, socialization, and stimulation are all key to your loved one’s quality of life. The following resources can help you both live more balanced lives:
- The Illinois Department of Human Services Adult Day Care program, which offers daytime care to eligible seniors over the age of 60.
- The City of Chicago’s Senior Centers, which offer outings, community events, classes, and a chance to get out of the house.
- Chicago’s Senior Games, an Olympic-style event for athletic seniors who want to compete, play, and get out of the house.
Legal and Financial Support
The legal and financial realities of caregiving can feel daunting. One recent analysis found that Illinois caregivers provide more than $18 billion in unpaid care each year. These resources can help you manage your own resources and plan for your loved one’s financial future:
- City of Chicago low-cost legal assistance, which can help you with managing your loved one’s assets, drafting a will, and more.
- The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, which can connect you to a Chicago elder law specialist.
- The Chicago Bar Association, which can refer you to the right lawyer for your needs.
- The Caregiving Assistance line, which can refer you to a wide range of resources. Some caregivers may even be eligible for compensation or reimbursement through one of the city’s caregiver support programs.
Long-Term Care Planning
Dementia can change on a dime. A flexible long-term plan can help you strategize for the future. These resources can help:
- Chicago’s guide to senior living options, including assisted living and nursing care.
- Senior insurance counseling, which can help you and your loved one select the best health insurance options.
- Advance directives, which help your loved one assert their medical desires in the event that they are incapacitated or otherwise unable to express their wishes.
Advice and Other Resources
Knowledge is power—especially when you’re a caregiver with limited time. The following resources can offer advice and information to help you make informed decisions:
- The Illinois Alzheimer’s Disease State Plan, which offers statistics, details about dementia, and information on government resources.
- Chicago’s Benefits and Services guide, which can help you determine which benefits programs might help your loved one.
- The Department of Neurology at the University of Chicago, which offers memory testing, clinical trials, family support services, and information tailored to the unique needs of people living with dementia.
The Summit of Uptown offers a continuum of care that includes independent living, assisted living, and dementia care. We’d love to help your family better manage the many challenges of life with dementia. Give us a call to schedule your tour!