Joining North Shore Elder Services as the Abuse in Later Life Advocate this past June is Carolyn Lewis. Carolyn is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina and a graduate from the University of North Carolina with an undergraduate degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Carolyn spent two years after her undergrad education serving AmeriCorps as a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocate in Laconia, New Hampshire and in Los Angeles’ Skid Row district.
Carolyn is a recent MSW graduate from Salem State University where she interned at Lahey Behavioral Health in Salem and All Care Hospice in Lynn. She continues to work as a HAWC hotline volunteer.
Through her work experiences and internships, Carolyn discovered her passion for working with elders in the field of domestic violence. When the position of an Abuse in Later Life Advocate became available, Carolyn immediately knew it was a perfect match for her. The Advocate position is part of the Confronting Abuse in Later Life (CALL – North Shore) program. CALL-NS is a three year initiative funded by the Office on Violence Against Women of the U.S. Department of Justice. North Shore Elder Services is partnering with HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change), The Salem Police Department, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office and The Network/LaRed to create a collaborative response to incidents of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of adults age 50 and over.
Carolyn is out in our communities such as libraries, Councils on Aging, YMCAs, and long-term care facilities, networking with various partnerships. She is establishing support groups for those fifty plus as a confidential place for those concerned with self-esteem, safety, financial protection, and healthy relationships, etc. to meet with and discuss with peers.
Currently Danvers Council on Aging is holding a free six week program for the Circle of Hope support group every Tuesday from 11am – 12pm. (Attendance to every session is not required). Consult our website at http://nselder.org/call-north-shore/ to learn more about the weekly topics or call Carolyn Lewis at 978-624-2248 for more information.
Carolyn hopes to get the word out that she is available to support and guide people through potentially abusive or neglectful situations. Along with her outreach through support groups, Carolyn is managing a small caseload of individuals. “Without this grant, those under sixty may not have anywhere else to turn. I was able to help someone who was going through pre-trial divorce proceedings which was a messy and complicated situation by being present at court with her. Other than her lawyer, she was alone and at one point she looked at me and said, ‘I’m so happy you have this grant and that you are able to help me.’ It meant a lot for me to be able to step in and be there.”
If you would like to learn more about CALL-NS, check out our webpage at http://nselder.org/call-north-shore/