Senior Advocacy Explained
A Senior Living Advocate is a person who assists aging individuals by navigating the health care system and ensuring that their needs are met. This can be a family member, a long-term care facility professional, or a member of a social interest group. While a senior advocate is most commonly associated with the nursing home industry, they can also work in the home or community. They can provide advice and guidance to seniors as they transition from living in a nursing home to a more independent lifestyle.
Senior advocacy is about more than just identifying situations of neglect and abuse. It involves helping seniors meet their physical and mental health needs by coordinating additional services. For example, an advocate can help a senior navigate the healthcare system by reviewing medical bills for accuracy and recommending possible treatment options.
One of the most important aspects of elder advocacy is maintaining a level of respect and courtesy for the elderly. Many seniors face daily stress, which can negatively affect their quality of life. In addition, the quality of life for seniors can be improved by ensuring that their social and emotional needs are met. An advocate can facilitate communication and set up meetings for the senior and their loved ones.
Depending on the organization, senior advocates can be hired or paid for. There are many free resources available. Some of these include the Patient’s Bill of Rights, which is an extensive list of basic rights that every patient should have. Other senior advocacy programs focus on education and litigation to protect the poor and the elderly.
Another good senior advocacy example is the New York State Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. The program is a resident-oriented program that helps residents of Nassau County and other parts of the state to exercise their legal and rightful rights. Typically, a long-term care ombudsman spends two or three hours a week advocating for the residents of the facilities they serve.
How to Best use an Elder Advocate
An elder advocate is a great way for a family to keep track of their elderly loved one’s health and well-being. Although seniors may not be able to communicate with their caregivers on a regular basis, a senior advocate can make sure that the most important matters are addressed. Such responsibilities can help reduce stress, improve the quality of life, and ensure that the senior is able to stay in their own homes.
When choosing an elder advocate, it is best to select one who has experience working in the aging field. While they may not be able to offer free consultations, they can offer a wealth of knowledge and insight into the healthcare system. These types of professionals can also provide advice on where to look for a new home and whether or not the community has the services to meet a senior’s needs.
Choosing an appropriate senior advocate can be a daunting task. However, there are companies that specialize in providing this service. Several of them will even provide a free, no obligation consultation.