You may call it "mowing Dad's lawn" or "taking Grandma to the doctor." You do what you do out of love, recognizing only later that one simple task has evolved into something more. That something more is called "caregiving." This distinction is important because identifying as a "family caregiver" gives you access to resources and support that you might not be aware of.
According to the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) and AARP, 43.5 million adults provide care to another adult or child with special needs. Approximately 1.5 million of these adults reside in Illinois. Based on the NAC/AARP report, 6 out of 10 are employed. Of these, 60% report that caregiving has impacted their work resulting in reduced hours, a leave of absence, and/or a reprimand related to work/caregiving conflicts.
In response to caregiver needs, AARP pushed for changes in Illinois employee leave regulations. In August, Illinois joined four other states that extend the use of personal sick leave to care for a loved one. Starting January 1, 2017, Illinois employees will be able to use up to six months of accrued sick leave to provide health-related care for their "... child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, or stepparent" (Employee Sick Leave Act). An employer may not deny any employee the right to use the benefits.
The purpose of this act is to provide flexibility to family caregivers, helping them to balance work, family, and caregiving responsibilities.
For access to other resources and supports for family caregivers, call Chris at 847-596-8226 or visit the CareSmart website to learn more about
"One person caring about another represents life's greatest value." Jim Rohn