We come in contact on a pretty regular basis with residents in group home environments who previously lived with relatives.  Often the previous living environment was not a nurturing one.  In some cases, the relative acting as the caregiver verbally expressed their frustration with the arrangement and with the most biting words, painted the care as a burden for them and their household.

Unfortunately even after new living arrangements are put in place, the trauma of listening to certain words or having been on the receiving end of absolute abuse and neglect lingers.  In one case the AFC resident physically assaulted a home staff member and quickly apologized, indicating his mind lapsed into a time when he lived with family and anger consumed him.  This is very likely an indication of post traumatic stress associated with painful events.

All we can say to families is take a break, be mindful of what you say and thankful for the opportunity to help someone in need.  That said, its important to also remember that when you feel you are at a breaking point, stop and do not hesitate to seek assistance using overnight respite programs, in-home care or other avenues to even-out the caregiving responsibilities.  Your local Area Agency on Aging and other advocacy organizations could be helpful .

Probate Court judges and others with the authority are not quick to hear excuses when it comes to abuse of the vulnerable – adults and children.  They also understand that our words can cause trauma.

Let’s all work to make things better.

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Another Blog Post by Direct Care Training & Resource Center, Inc.  Photos used are to complement the written material.  They do not imply an endorsement by or affiliation with any organization nor individual.

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