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Gentle Advocacy is Relationship Based and Solution Oriented in Long Term Care

By: Barbara J. Kirby - Seniors Advocate, Health, Care and Housing Navigator April 25, 2023

The relational aspect of advocacy cannot be underestimated. It is especially important when giving a resident support to have their voice heard. It is a key indicator of satisfaction and successful outcome. Understandably, advocating is more often elevating the voice because of something which is not pleasing or even upsetting.

As family members, you may become emotionally distressed when you find out your loved one isn’t receiving regular toileting, clothes are in tatters from the laundry, and dentures disappear from the dinner tray. Or, a temp or new hire is not following ADLs, or there are food service issues when the menu is not in line with dietary needs, or food is served too cold to eat or not cut up enough.

Elevating your voice is necessary, but how you effectively get to that point can be hard work. In addition, you may need to know the required tools to help use your voice for your loved one.

This is an excellent time to remember and review your Family Council Code of Conduct. Show respect, sensitivity and consideration for all people working and living at your long-term care home. They work hard, and they may be understaffed. It takes a special kind of person to support vulnerable adults in daily life and work within protocols and guidelines.

Taking a Gentle approach helps you to navigate problem-solving. Here are a few suggestions to help when you need to win the support of the care home to give a loved one a better daily living experience in long-term care.

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