Caregiving is all about attending to someone else’s needs. Whether that person is your child, friend or parent, taking care of others for an extended period of time can be mentally and physically exhausting. The reality is that many people—mostly women—are responsible for the well-being of their own children plus an aging parent or two. Add those responsibilities to the mix of life’s usual stressors, and you end up with a caregiver who could use some loving care herself.
Fortunately, there’s help available for caregivers, too. If you’re working around the clock to take care of your loved ones, check out these organizations that may be able to lighten your load (or at least help you organize your busy schedule). Some services may even be covered by insurance.
- Comfort Keepers : This elder-focused company has locations around the country. Its knowledgeable service providers can help with things like Alzheimer’s, in-home and end-of-life care. North Shore communities are serviced by the Wheeling office.
- Help at Home : With offices in Wheeling and Skokie, Help at Home has home aides, nursing assistants and RNs available to help people of all ages.
- Helping Hand Caregiver Resources : This Lindenhurst, Illinois-based company focuses solely on serving Lake County communities. They provide companionship services ranging from meal planning to light housekeeping.
- Home Watch Caregivers : With two North Shore locations, Home Watch provides non-medical home care for the elderly and families.
- Lake Shore Care : Northbrook-based Lake Shore Care offers domestic help for everything from senior care to nannies, housekeepers to home chefs.
- North Shore Nannies : For moms who need a break for a few hours per week or for a weekend, this Evanston company will do temporary placements.
- Lotsa Helping Hands : This support site provides a template to plan meals for friends and families in need. Users create a “community” and that allows invited volunteers to sign up to bring meals to families going through hard times.
- CarePages : This site enables caregivers and patients to share updates and news with a selected circle of family and friends. Time-efficient and informative, the site provides information for those dealing with illness as well as people who want to be of help.
- Friendship Circle : Based in Michigan, this organization’s site includes a list of camps for kids with special needs.
Three more sites worth checking out: ARCH National Respite Network  and HelpGuide.org  offer a range of information, resources and references about everything from legislative activity to caregiver stress management. The North Shore Senior Center  also provides information and resources for caregivers.
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