Like many of the 66 million caregivers in the U.S., Tony had been so busy taking care of a family member he was ignoring his own needs. One morning, desperate and exhausted from lack of sleep, Tony drove to nearby Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Elk Grove Village. After setting the alarm clock on his cellphone, he tenderly handed his wife, Bea, to the volunteers at A Caring Place -- an outreach ministry that allows caregivers to leave a loved one in a safe environment with trained professionals while they run errands shop or just relax.
Tony didn't want to leave his wife, but he knew he would end up in the hospital again if he didn't get rest. Hours later, refreshed from a much-needed nap, Tony returned to the church to pick up his wife.
A Caring Place has been a great relief to many of the caregivers in our community. As the number of older adults increases, many families are taking on the responsibility of providing for aging family members and friends. The service provided at A Caring Place gives the caregiver respite from their 24/7 responsibilities. It is a win-win for caregivers, the participants and the volunteers.
A Caring Place operates from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, at Christus Victor Lutheran Church, 1045 S. Arlington Heights Road, in Elk Grove Village. Participants pay $20 per day and bring a sack lunch.
To date, A Caring Place has drawn approximately 15 people each day, that take part in a variety of activities including Wii bowling, card games, board games, laughter yoga, floral arranging, and various art projects.
While A Caring Place specializes in working with adults with mild cognitive and physical impairments, the program is open to all adults who want to stay active. Many older adults spend much of their time staring at the TV and napping at home. As a result, they have a hard time sleeping at night. A Caring Place promotes socializing and interacting with peers.
If you are interested in a program of this nature, the first visit is free. Call and make an appointment to come and see the program in action. Call the church at (847) 437-2666, ext. 16; visit www.A-Caring-Place.org; or email Caregiverscare@comcast.net. Those interested in volunteering can also contact the church in the same way.
• Submit 'Your News' at dailyherald.com/share.