By Jess Stielow, Director

Illinois/Northwest Indiana I & R Center

The dictionary defines a care giver as “an unpaid person who is responsible for attending to the needs of a child or dependent adult.” The care giving journey is a partnership between the person giving care and the one receiving it. As Parkinson’s progresses, the role of care partner grows more challenging. To help them better cope care partners are frequently given well-intended advice: 

  1. Take time for yourself. 

  2. Get enough rest.

  3. Take mental health breaks.

  4. Tend to your own needs. You’re no good to anyone else if you do not take care of yourself.

  5. Ask other people for help. Don’t try to do everything yourself.

These are  wise suggestions, but what happens when they clash with reality?

How do you “get enough rest” when your partner has been in and out of bed all night? 

How do you squeeze in “dinner and a movie with a friend” when your partner is depends on you 24/7? 

How do you take “mental health breaks” when your loved one is battling depression? 

To bridge the disparity between helpful suggestions and the day-to-day reality of life for a care partner, the
I & R Center offers:

Telephone Support and Problem-Solving Whether you are seeking information about local support groups, or need referrals to movement disorders specialists, the I & R Center has the answers. We will help you explore solutions to any situations encountered in your care partner role. Call 1-800-223-9776.

Respite Care /“Time-Out” Program Available by application through the APDA Midwest Chapter, this program supports qualifying in-home family care partners (see page 1). To learn more about and/or request an application, call the Chapter Office at 630-933-4392.

Support Groups welcome care partners to attend meetings, either alone or with their loved one. It is a great way to socialize and share information with other care partners. To locate or learn about a group near you, call 630- 933-4383 or 1-800-223-9776.

Caregiver Support Groups address specific care partner needs. For details, to start a group of your own, or to share ideas about how APDA can better assist in meeting caregiver needs, call 630 933-4383 or 1-800 223-9776.

Caregiver Specific Educational

The I & R Center keeps up to date information about upcoming educational programs in our region. If you want to be notified of these, call 630-933-4383.

Jess Stielow

Coordinator, I & R Center

Central DuPage Hospital

25 N. Winfield Road, Winfield, IL 60190

800-223-9776 or  630-933-4383

How does the APDA Information and Referral Center assist care givers/partners?


Copyright 2008, 2009 Sheryl Jedlinski