Caregiver Support: Essential and Available Through Our Victim Services Program

Sara Green, Victim Services Coordinator, Minnesota Elder Justice Center

Since the onset of the Coronavirus, the Minnesota Elder Justice Center staff have been thinking about the increased importance of supporting family caregivers. Unpaid caregivers are doing even more now to care for aging and vulnerable adults. Whether an older adult has left a care facility to stay with family, you’re having difficulty finding in-home support staff, or because Coronavirus restrictions are creating other disruptions to a regular plan of care, we know that unpaid caregivers are facing greater demands than ever.

Minnesota Elder Justice Center advocates speak with caregivers on a regular basis. Our focus is to providing meaningful support, grounded in empathetic listening. Caregivers who contact us are often feeling overwhelmed by their circumstances. Empathetic listening means that our advocates respect what program participants are going through and offer understanding and concern for their circumstances. Our callers tell us that prioritizing empathetic listening matters – it allows for a safe, confidential space for people to express their concerns and frustrations without judgment.

Please take a few moments to watch this video of Betsy, an experienced Victim Services Advocate, talking about the importance of empathetic listening and the difference that it can make.

Support for caregivers is essential to the well-being of both the caregiver and the person receiving care. Respite care and issue specific support groups are typically widely available around the state, some at no or low cost through qualified government programs. Understandably, there are many reasons that it can be difficult for caregivers to put themselves on the priority list. Connect with a Victim Services advocate who will listen, provide support, and furnish important caregiver resources information.

To contact the advocates at Minnesota Elder Justice Center’s Victim Services Program, call (651) 440-9305.