Caregivers “Care” About Preventing Elder Abuse | Events
It’s not often talked about, but abuse, neglect, and exploitation is happening to thousands of adults in your community every year. People often associate elder abuse with nursing homes, but the truth of the matter is that most elder abuse happens at home. Unfortunately, many of the elders being abused are dependent on their abusers and 75% to 95% of the abuse is committed by a family member.
Sometimes the abuse is a continuation of patterns of abuse that have been long-standing in a family, but more often than not, it is related to changes in circumstances and an elderly person’s increasing reliance on family members, such as a caregiver. Being a caregiver is often an unexpected role for family members. It can be stressful, frustrating, and overwhelming at times. Caregivers can become socially isolated and frequently lack a strong support system.
Having a safe and supportive place to focus on feelings of loss, frustration, and sadness can help prevent caregiver burnout that may lead to abuse. To reduce these risk factors, the Family Caregiver Program at Spectrum Generations offers monthly support group meetings. Caregiving is hard work and it can take a toll on one’s emotional and physical health, which is why it is so important for caregivers to practice good self care.
If support groups aren’t your “thing,” the Caregiver’s Care Line is available. Family Caregiver Specialists Elizabeth Crawford and Ashley Hoffmann are available to provide support and resources, including financial resources, or pair you up with someone who has walked in your shoes to provide phone support during difficult times. If you are interested in this type of phone support, call Spectrum Generations Caregivers Specialist at 1-800-639-1553.
Caregiver training is also available. The Savvy Caregiver Program, a 6 week training for people caring for someone with dementia, helps caregivers gain knowledge and skills as well as develop confidence in caregiving. If you are a caregiver, don’t wait until it’s too late to get support. Please call the Family Caregiver Program at Spectrum Generations for more information at 1-800-639-1553. It is so important for everyone to be aware of elder abuse. If you know or suspect an adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited, please contact the Department of Health and Human Services, Adult Protective Services at 1-800-624-8404 to make a report.
Spectrum Generations is Maine’s Central Maine Area Agency on Aging and an Aging with Disability Resource Center with programs, services, resources and communities across central Maine promoting life-long learning, health, wellness, nutrition, community engagement and social well-being of all older and disabled adults.