The Many Faces of Advocacy – Do You Need a Seniors Advocate?
The term advocate should not be taken lightly. Its origins come from Roman Law Courts.
In 1689, the Faculty of Advocates library was opened in Edinburgh. According to my Oxford Dictionary printed in 1962, advocate means professional pleader in a Court of justice, a counsel; one who pleads for another; one who speaks for a cause.
According to the Encarta Dictionary, advocate has a broader number of meanings today such as to recommend or support something; someone who supports or speaks in favour of something; a tireless advocate of social reform; a helper; someone who acts or intercedes on behalf of another; a legal representative; someone who pleads another case in a legal forum.
How fitting the word advocate is derived from the Latin advocare, to “add” a “voice.”
Advocates may come from the not-for-profit sector, private pay, or the corporate world. There are also volunteer advocates such as family, friends, and neighbours.
Depending on the issue, a level of expertise is often required for a person to be an effective advocate because it may be necessary to do research, compile material, and present it in an effective manner to achieve the outcome you are seeking.
Here are just a few examples of where you might need someone to advocate for you.
Health Care Matters
Daily Life Matters
A Seniors’ Advocate Should Assist and Support You in the Following Ways:
And yes, there are advocates all around us but beware of the person who appears out of nowhere and offers to help you. Check credentials or ask a person you know and trust before you accept support. Never give account numbers or personal details over the phone.
Take a few deep breaths and recognize the value of asking for help.
Barb Kirby, CPCA, is an Advocate, Consultant, and Navigator trained with the American Association of Dementia Practitioners and Seniors Services Society for housing . She has a Certificate in Values-Based Leadership from Royal Roads University and certificates in Advocacy and Seniors Residential Care with PovNet. Barb has 15 years’ experience as a family caregiver and chaired family councils in care homes for 7 years and chaired Advocates for Care Reform. Barb is the founder of seniorsAdvocate ca and the Vancouver Regional Mentor at BC Community Response Networks.
Telephone: 604 -767- 4994 Email:email@example.com
This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Scrivener Magazine.