CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Adult day centers had to close last month for coronavirus precautions. Because of that, many families are struggling to care for their loved ones at home.
Circle of Friends is doing what they can to help. Before they were all day care centers were closed by the Department of Aging, they cared for over 20 people every day. The families who brought their loved ones there are now having to adjust to being a full-time caregiver. Owner Kathy Rhoads says a lot of families are struggling with the transition.
“It’s just not emotionally and physically possible for a family caregiver to do all the things we did at the adult day program,” says Rhoads. “We did all these things all day long, we had different things to help with the mind and body.”
James McIlvain lives in Farmer City with his wife Debbie. Right now he is in the balancing act of caring for her. He usually takes her to Circle of Friends. They are both trying to find their new normal.
“Now being at home all the time, even though we’ve been married 49 years, we still run into the stress,” says McIlvain. “It’s stressful to think about the whole system. Everything is changing.”
For so many people being cared for, the adult day care center brought a routine to their lives. Rhoads says she has heard stories of them wanting to be back with their people. While they may not be able to come together for the time being, her and her staff feel the same.
“We’re all in that stage right now, we’re stuck at home,” says Rhoads. “We’re all missing each other and even a person with memory issues and a severe type of Alzheimer’s can be very lonely and grieving over this loss.”
Rhoads says the Department of Aging is helping all adult day centers stay afloat while they are not allowed to be open. She knows they will be one of the last things to re-open, but is hoping it will happen by the Summer.
Circle of Friends also has a guide on how to care for family members during this time as well: