Alabama Department of Human Resources

06/18/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/18/2024 09:02

Many Alabama Elderly, Disabled Adults in Need of Foster Care

Many Alabama Elderly, Disabled Adults in Need of Foster Care

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day celebrated June 15

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Alabama's elderly and disabled adults can often find themselves in more vulnerable circumstances and in need of special care. The Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) is helping by finding adult foster homes to assist older adults who may have trouble caring for themselves.

Adult foster care helps those elderly and disabled adults stay in family-style homes instead of institutional settings when relocation is necessary to provide them round-the-clock care.

In FY 2023, Alabama DHR received more than 12,000 reports of elder abuse or neglect. That's an increase of 125 percent since 2013. With the help of qualified and capable adult foster homes, many of these cases could be avoided. DHR's goal 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 last decade has been disheartening, but we have also seen so many individuals step up to provide loving, caring homes for many of Alabama's aging individuals," said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. "Becoming an adult foster care provider is both helpful for the adult in need and incredibly rewarding for the person opening their home. The need for these extraordinary individuals is growing every day and I believe there are many more Alabamians who are ready to step up and help."

The Adult Foster Care program serves adults who can live safely in a home environment but may need assistance with daily life.

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

Beth Nelson is an adult foster care provider in Elmore County. She said being an Adult Foster Home provider has made her life richer and considers her experience a blessing.

"I've had an adult foster in my home for nearly 16 years and it has enriched both of our lives," Nelson said. "I don't know what would have happened to him had I not taken him in back then. We've become family and do everything together."

Gov. Kay Ivey proclaimed June 15, 2024, World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in Alabama to raise awareness and hopefully encourage anyone thinking of opening their home to take that next step.

Those interested in becoming adult foster care providers are encouraged to contact their county DHR office. More information, including eligibility requirements, is available at dhr.alabama.gov/AFC.

DHR also reminds the public to report suspected adult abuse, neglect and exploitation by calling the Adult Abuse Hotline at 1-800-458-7214, emailing [email protected] or contacting a county DHR office. Warning signs include:

  • Increased fear or anxiety
  • Isolation from friends or family
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Unusual changes in behavior or sleep
  • Unexplained injuries, bruises, cuts or sores
  • Unsanitary living conditions and poor hygiene
  • Unusual or sudden changes in financial spending patterns, wills or other important documents

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