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An Essential Caregiver—Could Be You

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) defines Essential Caregivers (EC) as people not categorized as general visitors. These caregivers meet an essential need for a resident of a skilled nursing facility or senior community by assisting with activities of daily living or positively influencing the behavior of the resident. The goal of such a designation is to help ensure that high-risk residents continue to receive individualized, person-centered care. A thoroughly crafted plan of care should include services provided by the Essential Caregiver.

What This Might Mean For You

If you have a loved one residing in a senior community or skilled nursing facility, and they are declining due to the lack of your care (and presence), you may be allowed access to the building for up to an hour in order to provide essential care. All ECs must be screened, COVID-19 tested, and provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They must maintain a six-foot distance from other residents and staff. Each community and facility have slightly differing policies and procedures, so it is wise to inquire about their specific rules and regulations.

As you have these conversations it’s important to understand that caregiving tasks may include, but are not limited to washing a person’s hair, bathing, massages, foot rubs, or even assistance getting fresh air outside. If the community or facility should experience an outbreak of COVID-19 or other illness, they may temporarily limit or stop the admittance of ECs for a designated period of time.

We realize this is a difficult time, and should you have questions, concerns, or need clarification about the role of an Essential Caregiver, you can always reach out to an Elderwerks Educational Services team member at (855) 462-0100, or visit the IDPH for more information.

Contact Elderwerks

Finding assisted living or other types of aging care can be overwhelming. Let our dedicated team help you navigate your options.

Contact Us

For your complimentary, person-centered assistance or help touring a senior community, call an Elderwerks Advisor today at 855-462-0100.


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