Family Caregiver Resources for Illinois

Posted on 02/08/21

Caregiving may be one of the most important, and challenging, roles you’ll ever take on. No matter where you are in your caregiving journey — starting to plan; taking care of a family member in your home, in a facility, or from a distance; or managing end-of-life caregiving responsibilities — having resources at your fingertips will make the process easier.

AARP developed this family caregiver guide with you, the caregiver, in mind and as a starting point to help you find the services and support you might need throughout your journey.

To order a print copy of this online guide, call the toll-free AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line at 877-333-5885 and indicate which state(s) you would like to receive. A copy will be mailed to you.

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General Resources

  • 3-1-1 City of Chicago Services Online (3-1-1 toll-free | Outside the Chicago area: 
    312-744-5000)
    • Call 3-1-1 for assistance with nonemergency city services and for information on events, programs and agencies within the City of Chicago. 
  • Adult Protective Services (APS) (866-800-1409 toll-free |For residents of nursing facilities, call the Nursing Home Complaint hotline: 800-252-4343 For residents in Supportive Living Facilities (SLFs), call the SLF Complaint hotline: 800-226-0768 | 800-252-8966)
    • The Adult Protective Services program is operated by trained and certified
      caseworkers to prevent abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of
      people with disabilities between the ages of 18 and 59 living in the
      community. To report suspected abuse, neglect or financial exploitation call.
  • Illinois Department on Aging (IDOA)  (800-252-8966)
    • The department serves and advocates for older Illinoisans and their
      caregivers by administering programs that promote independence, dignity
      and quality of life. Programs under IDOA include Adult Protective  
      Services, the Community Care Program, Legal Assistance and the Senior Helpline.

Health Resources

  • Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) (800-252-8966)
    • SHIP is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare
      beneficiaries and their caregivers. The helpline can answer questions on
      Medicare, Medicaid, enrollment, drug plan information and more.
  • Senior Health Assistance Program (SHAP) (800-503-6897)
    • SHAP provides help and counseling to older Ilinoisans so they can better understand Medicare, Medicaid, pharmaceutical assistance and supplemental health insurance and find programs that suit their needs. illinois.gov/services/AGE/shap Medicare Nursing Home Compare Nursing Home Compare has detailed information about every Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing home in the country.

Home- and Community-Based Resources

  • Senior HelpLine (800-252-8966)
    • The Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior HelpLine provides information on programs, services and resources to persons 60 years and older and their family caregivers. 
  • Community Care Program (CCP) (800-252-8966)
    • The Illinois Department on Aging’s Provider Profile Search site is designed to help older Illinoisans and family caregivers locate information on providers and services.  
  • Home and Community-Based Services — Provider Locator (800-677-1116)
    • The Illinois Department on Aging’s Provider Profile Search site is designed to help older Illinoisans and family caregivers locate information on providers and services.

  • Illinois Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)  
    • The 13 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) contract with local agencies that provide services to the older people who live in the same community. Services provided: congregate and home-delivered meals, evidence-based health promotion, nutrition education, in-home assistance, outreach, legal services, transportation and long-term care ombudsman. The website provides contact information for the AAA for your county.  

Financial Resources

  • AARP Foundation Benefits QuickLINK
    • Find public benefits that can help you pay for food, medicine, health care, utilities and more by using AARP Foundation’s Benefits QuickLINK tool.
  • Benefit Access Programs (800-252-8966 | Aging.ILSenior@illinois.gov)
    • Illinois provides benefits for seniors and persons with disabilities, such as a fee discount on license plates and free rides on fi xed-route transit. Eligibility is determined by age, disability, residency and income.

Legal Resources

  • Illinois Legal AID Online (ILAO)
    • ILAO offers 24/7 and multilingual access to free legal aid service in civil matters.  
  • Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services (312-986-4200)
    • Metropolitan Family Services provides a wide variety of programs designed to strengthen families and help them realize their full potential.
  • Prairie State Legal Services (815-965-2134) 
    • Prairie State Legal Services is a charitable, non-for-profit organization that offers free legal services for low-income persons and those ages 60 and over who have serious civil legal problems.

Workplace/Employer Resources

Transportation Resources

  • City of Chicago — Senior Services
    • Connect with the full list of services and programs for City of Chicago seniors and their family caregivers.
  • Illinois Secretary of State — Senior Services  (217-785-3000 outside Illinois | 800-252-8980 toll-free in Illinois 866-545-9609 toll-free license renewal)
    • From rules of the road to benefit services and the latest information on license renewals, the Illinois Secretary of State’s website offers one-click resources for more information on your driving needs.
  •  Senior Centers 
    • Senior centers across Illinois offer a wide range of programs and activities for older adults, with services that may include congregate meals, transportation, education, counseling, legal assistance and health screening.

Specific Audience Housing Resources

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Specific Audience Resources

  • AARP Caregiving Guides
    • AARP offers free caregiving guides for specific audiences, including guides for military families and LGBT individuals. The guides, also offered in Spanish and Chinese, are designed to help develop and implement a caregiving plan.
  • Illinois Long-Term Care Ombudsman (217-782-6641 | 800-437-9824) 
    • The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs supports veterans and their families by assisting in navigation of federal, state and local resources and benefits.
  • Illinois Department of  Veterans’ Affairs (217-782-6641 | 800-437-9824)
    • The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs supports veterans and their families by assisting in navigation of federal, state and local resources and benefits.

Care for Caregivers

  • Community Connections
    • AARP Community Connections is a new website that offers steps to get or give help. You can organize online mutual aid groups to stay connected, share ideas and support those in need.
  • Create the Good
    • Create the Good connects people with volunteer opportunities and project ideas to share your life experiences, skills and passions in your community.
  • Resources for Seniors and Their Loved Ones
    • The Illinois Department on Aging has created two pages to connect seniors and caregivers with resources ranging from grandparents and children to employment, housing, prescription drug assistance and much more. 
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AARP Resources for Family Caregivers

  • AARP Family Caregiving Website (en español: aarp.org/cuidar)
    • AARP’s Family Caregiving website is your one-stop shop for tips and tools to help you care for a loved one. It has valuable information about handling medical issues, health records and advance directives, home safety, financial and legal issues, caregiver life balance and much more.
  • AARP Family Caregiving Resource Line (877-333-5885 toll-free, en español: 888-971-2013 toll-free)
    • Connect with a real person and learn how to access local resources via our toll-free family caregiving hotline.
  • Community Resource Finder
    • Community Resource Finder, a joint service from the Alzheimer’s Association and AARP, is a database of dementia- and aging-related resources powered by Carelike. The online tool makes it easy to find local programs and services.
  • I Heart Caregivers
    • Join the thousands of family caregivers who have shared their experiences through AARP’s storytelling initiative, I Heart Caregivers. Your story will help AARP continue to fight for more support for family caregivers.
  • AARP HomeFit Guide
    • The AARP HomeFit Guide can help individuals and families make their current or future residence age-friendly. It can also help elected officials, policymakers and local leaders learn about and advocate for the types of housing features and designs that communities need so that their residents can live safely and comfortably and thrive.

If you have thoughts about how AARP can improve this resource guide, we invite you to go to aarp.org/preparetocaresurvey (en español: aarp.org/encuestacuidador). 

This story is provided by AARP Illinois. Visit the AARP Illinois page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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