[gview file=”http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/Resources/Publication/docs/Archstone-Caregiver-Brochure-Web.pdf” save=”1″]

Caring for an elderly or disabled person frequently involves strenuous physical tasks as well as managing financial matters, organizing care, and more. As a result, caregivers may feel frustrated, isolated, stressed and overwhelmed. Although these feelings are perfectly normal, they can be harmful to both the caregiver and the person needing care. Over time, elder abuse may be the result.

Elder abuse refers to intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver or “trusted” individual that can lead to harm of a vulnerable elder. Neglect is the most common form of elder abuse, followed by psychological, financial, physical, and sexual abuse. In many situations, abuse can happen subtly and escalate over time. One outburst can lead to multiple outbursts or verbal abuse. The majority of elder abuse occurs in the home, and the abuser is a family member in 90% of all elder abuse cases.

Interestingly, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) released a new brochure for family caregivers on how to advocate for family members who need care. (I got the facts in the first two paragraphs of this post from that brochure.) The brochure was developed using input from actual family caregivers of people with dementia. The brochure provides information about elder abuse, tips for caregivers on how to protect and advocate for their loved ones, real life scenarios, and resources. The goal of the brochure is to help family caregivers of people with dementia to learn how to take care of themselves in order to prevent mistreatment of those for whom care is being provided.

The brochure explains elder mistreatment, offers tips on advocating for and protecting relatives with dementia and provides helpful contacts along with examples. I recommend it.