Caregiving Assistance

The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Senior Services division operates a variety of programs designed to address the diverse needs and interests of older Chicagoans, from those who are active and healthy, to those residing in long term care facilities. DFSS provides support services for caregivers, older adults needing housing or legal assistance, and grandparents or older relatives raising children. Below is a list of programs to help support residents.

For more information regarding any of these programs, or to place a referral for services, please contact our Information & Assistance (I&A) office via phone at (312) 744-4016 or email at aging@cityofchicago.org.

 

Caregiver Counseling and Support Services Program

Informal and familial caregivers are provided with assistance and supports to aid them in caring for their older loved ones.  Services such as short-term individual and family counseling, group therapy and support groups, as well as gap-filling funds to purchase a limited supply of goods and services are available to caregivers.

The caregiver must be providing care to an older individual age 60 or older or to an individual with Alzheimer’s disease or a related disorder with neurological and organic brain dysfunction who may be under 60.

CARPLS Housing Services for Older Adults

Attorneys provide advice and referral services to seniors age 60 or older who are at-risk of becoming homeless and/or need more appropriate housing. Attorneys provide legal advice for a wide range of housing issues including evictions, tenant/landlord disputes, probate and estate issues and home mortgage modifications.

Attorneys do not provide direct representation in court on behalf of clients.

CARPLS Legal Assistance Services for Older Adults Division

Attorneys provide brief legal services for seniors age 60 or older, including legal analysis of the client’s situation, legal advice and strategy, legal counseling on the best course of action, review of court documents or other legal documents, and in appropriate situations, drafting of legal pleadings and letters.  Attorneys will assist with a wide range of legal issues including family law, guardianship, consumer debt, immigration, civil rights, public benefits and taxes.

Attorneys do not provide direct representation in court on behalf of clients, nor will they handle fee-generating cases such as personal injury or workman’s compensation matters.

Heavy Duty Chore and Short Term Chore Services for Older Adults

The heavy-duty chore program is a one-time intensive cleaning service for seniors age 60 or older whose living conditions pose a threat to their health, safety and well-being.  This can include trash removal, window and appliance cleaning, moving heavy furniture and packing.  The short-term chore program assists seniors who need temporary assistance in the home due to illness, recent hospitalization or injury to assist them as they recuperate. 

Grandparents or Older Relatives Raising Children Services

Short-term, one-on-one counseling and/or support groups are available to grandparents or other relatives age 55 or older who have primary caregiving responsibility of children from birth to age 18.

Gap-filling funds can be used to purchase a limited supply of goods and services, including school supplies, furniture, summer day camp, after-school programs, educational, recreational or athletic programs or medication for the underage child.  Gap-filling funds may also be used for a one-time emergency rent, utility or mortgage payment.

Caregiver Respite Program

Respite services provide professionally trained staff to care for a frail senior, who has a familial caregiver, on a temporary basis.  Respite can be used in an emergency, such as the illness of a caregiver or for planned time away, such as a vacation, special event, appointment or personal time.  Respite care can be provided in home or in a nursing home, supportive living or assisted living facility.

Intensive Case Advocacy and Support Program

This program serves frail, vulnerable, isolated seniors age 60 and older who need intensive case coordination and support with issues such as hoarding, uninhabitable living conditions, undiagnosed and untreated mental health concerns, limited cognitive abilities and safety.  An ICAS worker will work with the senior to establish a safe plan of care and provide referrals for other services as needed.

Senior Health Assistance Program (SHAP)/Medicare Improvements for Patients and Provider Act (MIPPA)

This program provides Medicare beneficiaries with personalized counseling assistance, engaging community outreach in public forums and access to enrollment assistance.