Nurse Aide Trainees Walk for Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention

The Givens Communities Nurse Aide Training Program is currently underway with its fourth cohort of students. Created in late 2022, this “earn while you learn” program brings new team members onboard for a 10-week training program.

Students spend part time in class learning the North Carolina State Nurse Aide curriculum, and part time working in Givens Health Centers as Resident Assistants. At graduation they work as CNAs, caring for residents at Givens clinical sites across campuses.

On June 13, the class participated in the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day walk at Carrier Park in Asheville.

“This annual event is a collaboration of Western North Carolina community service providers in the healthcare and justice systems, bringing awareness of the troubling problem of elder mistreatment,” explained Nurse Aide Program Coordinator and Lead Instructor, Linda Stanton, RN.

This mistreatment can come in many forms of abuse and neglect: financial fraud, physical, sexual, verbal, or psychological. Abusers can be from elaborate online scams, professional staff, or even members of the person’s own family. While greed may motivate financial fraud scammers, sometimes elder mistreatment can be tied to caregiver stress and burnout.

“While I found the statistic of 1 in 10 elders being abused jarring, I was most drawn to the ways of preventing abuse,” said Nurse Aide Trainee Deja Shivers after the event. “One of the more direct ways to prevent abuse starts with caregivers having the capacity to give proper care. Helping oneself to help others starts with knowing the appropriate ways to manage stress and exhaustion.”

Stanton added that it is essential to recognize caregiver stress in both professional and family caregivers. “Connecting them with resources to support their own health and encouraging them get support in the difficult work of elder care,” she said. “By participating in this community event, our future CNAs have a raised level of awareness of this problem and a focus on prevention.”

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