SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — There are many people who have lost loved ones who often feel that pain around the holidays.
However, this time of year can also be hard on people who care for them day in and day out. One state agency wants caregivers to know they are not alone.
Nancy Seefeldt of Springfield took care of her husband for nine years as he suffered from dementia. “The first ones were just miserable. I went into a deep depression not knowing what to do because I didn’t know about these support services that are available,” says Seefeldt. Many others are unaware of these services as well.
That is why the department on aging is reminding people taking care of their loved ones that help is out there. “These programs really support their efforts. It can be very taxing and very stressful to be a family caregiver so our goal is to support those people who are in the home everyday supporting our seniors,” says Lora McCurdy. However, she says seniors are not the only caretakers out there. “Caregivers look like anyone but we see more caregivers over the age of 60 typically taking care of their parents or their spouse. Sometimes they raise their grandchildren.”
Vera Neavill is taking care of her great-granddaughter after losing her daughter to cancer. She says the support groups have help her east that generational gap between her and the teenager she cares for. “I’m a grandparent and it is really hard to start all over with grandbabies again and the area aging has really been a fantastic resource for me becuase I didn’t know where to go to get the help.”