Alabama seeks nursing homes for needy elderly people
Alabama seeks nursing homes for needy elderly people

Signing of the Weaad Proclamation
Courtesy of Human Resources

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Candace Johnson

June 15 was World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, and Alabama Governor Kay Ivey is using the day as an opportunity to raise awareness about the many elderly people in the state who need help.

The main place older adults can get help in their community is in an adult care home. Just like children who require nursing homes, adults in foster care are a vulnerable population who are better off in a home setting than in group care.

The Alabama Department of Human Resources’ Adult Protective Services program aims to protect older adults from financial, emotional or physical abuse.

In fiscal year 2023, the DHR received over 12,000 reports of elder abuse or neglect.

Warning signs of suspected adult abuse include:

  • Increased anxiety or worry
  • Isolation from friends or family
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Unusual behavior or sleep changes
  • Unexplained injuries, bruises, cuts or wounds
  • Unhygienic living conditions and lack of hygiene
  • Unusual or sudden changes in financial spending habits, wills or other important documents

Skilled and caring adult foster homes are a solution to this problem. Instead of remaining in an abusive home, older adults can be placed with families who want to help them thrive. DHR’s mission is to recruit at least one adult foster home in each of Alabama’s 67 counties.

“The rise in elder abuse and neglect over the past decade has been disheartening, but we have also seen so many people step up to provide loving, caring homes for many of Alabama’s seniors,” said Nancy Buckner, Alabama DHR Commissioner. “Becoming a caregiver is both helpful for the adult in need and incredibly rewarding for the person providing their home.”

The Adult Foster Care program is designed for adults who are able to live in a safe home environment but may need additional support from time to time.

“We are proud to partner with DHR to find the absolute best services and care for seniors in need,” said Jean Brown, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Senior Services. “Adult care is a life-changing experience for everyone involved and can enrich the lives of some of Alabama’s most vulnerable residents.”

Beth Nelson, an adult caregiver in Elmore County, said providing this service has changed her life for the better.

“I’ve had an adult foster parent in my home for almost 16 years and it has enriched both of our lives,” Nelson said. “I don’t know what would have happened to him if I hadn’t taken him in when I did. We’ve become a family and do everything together.”

If you would like to know how to qualify or what it takes to become an adult foster carer, you can learn more here.

By Aurora