Caring for the Caregivers

Help Wanted

Looking for a Challenge?
Need mature, responsible individual to care for
gentleman with chronic health condition.
Must perform as patient advocate, nurse, nurse’s aide,
counselor, social planner and activity director,
financial manager, driver, scheduler, exercise coach.

Position requires experience setting up and giving medications,
cooking, housekeeping and doing laundry.
Prefer licensed driver who is also willing to do yard work
and light maintenance chores.

Round-the-clock, 7 days per week.

Room and board.
Satisfaction for a job well done.
Hugs (optional).
Sorry, no salary or benefits package
available at this time.

Job Classification
Parkinson Disease: Caring and Coping
National Parkinson Foundation 2007
Updated by D. Breslow 2010

Even in a tough job market I’m not sure you’ll get many applicants, other than Mother Theresa. An irony is that those who land the job are not applicants but conscripts, caring for a family member with a chronic, progressively debilitating disease. Forty-four million people in the United States, one in four households, are caring for someone over the age of 50. Additional statistics reveal that one third of caregivers are 65 and older; 80% care for patients in long-term home care; 40% are still raising children, and half still hold jobs; and 75% of caregivers are women.

As the “Help Wanted” ad indicates, the job is demanding and consuming. Finding the “new normal” in a caregiver’s life was a major issue addressed at the Caregivers’ Conference at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, given on April 14, 2012, and funded by the Healthcare Facilities Expo.

Diane Breslow, Coordinator for Northwestern Medicine’s Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Movement Disorders Center, and Trupti Patel, (Master’s in Public Policy, Northwestern University), dedicated funds for a symposium for caregivers of PD patients in order to educate them about not only the tasks for which they are responsible but for the coping strategies to keep balance and hope in their lives.  When a family member begins this new journey as caregiver, it ordinarily starts through a gate of anger and frustration; and it isn’t until one realizes and accepts the “new normal” that the caregiver can rediscover a different sense of purpose.

A free, monthly Support Group offered at Northwestern Hospital encourages caregivers to determine how to maintain meaningful activities that bring renewal and endurance to accept what one didn’t expect.  The PD Support Group also provides excellent opportunities for social interchange among PD patients, exercise, art therapies, and education on leading research in the diagnosis and treatment of Parkinson’s.

Please consult the following websites for further information:
Care Finder:
Caregiver’s Handbook:

You may also contact Diane Breslow at or (312) 503-4397.


Forward Chicago, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization, envisions our neighborhoods as model communities for people of all ages, where residents can age in place while remaining active, engaged and influential.