Independent Professional Advocacy which is undertaken by paid or volunteer advocates on a short-term basis. Advocates working in these services usually support people in dealing with a specific issue or problem. Links are supplied to local organisations below;
Collective Advocacy is where a group of people with similar experiences meet together to put forward shared views. It offers a shared voice rather than singling out individuals. It can however present a range of views. Collective advocacy builds personal skills and confidence and supports individuals to represent issues of common concern. Links are supplied to local organisations below.
Citizen Advocacy aims to encourage ordinary citizens to become more involved with the welfare of those who might need this in their communities. This is usually a long term relationship with an individual and aims to ensure the person’s interests are protected.
Models of Older Persons Advocacy
Our advocates will always endeavour to follow direct instructions from the client (patient) wherever possible. This represents an Instructed Model.
Where a client (patient) cannot give an informed decision, our advocates will act independently in the clients best interest and ensure their rights are protected. This represents a Best Interest Model.
An example of an instructed model:
Penny asked ward staff to contact us for her. Our advocate arranges to meet with Penny who is concerned about unpaid bills at home. She does not want to ‘burden’ her family with the task of settling them. Our advocate asks Penny what she would like done. Penny instructs our advocate to draft letters on her behalf to the relevant suppliers letting them know that she is in hospital and she is able to write cheques to cover the bills. Penny checks the letters signs them and writes out the cheques. Our advocate copies the letters and cheques for Penny’s records and posts them.
An example of a best interest model:
Peter has no family and has been diagnosed as having dementia. Our advocate observes that Peter is in a lounge on his own and is agitated. Our advocate enters the room and introduces himself to Peter, but is concerned to see cuts and bruises on Peter and that he appears to be ‘soaking wet’ from his groin down to his slippers. Our advocate speaks to the ward manager and is told that Peter is a regular ‘faller’ and often loses his balance hence the injuries. Ward manager also says that Peter is incontinent. The ward manager immediately dealt with the wet clothes by washing and changing Peter and wrote in Peter’s notes that he would benefit from close observation whilst in the lounges and open areas. This is a best interest model where we would monitor Peter’s situation on a regular basis. In the event of further recurrent episodes a formal complaint would be made to the manager on Peter’s behalf.