While policy changes, laws, and legal precedents are great ways to better the nursing home industry, they require time, legal action, the legislative process, and money. While those things are at work, thanks to advocacy organizations and state and federal representatives, there is still a lot we all can do on a daily basis to improve the aging process. Whether you are able to volunteer time, write an email to a representative, or simply be an active community member, there are plenty of way to help create an aging-friendly world.
A huge part of creating a community that supports its aging members is simply being present. Not only is visiting or making a quick phone call to check in a kind gesture, it can also be a way to prevent abuse. The more present we are in the lives of the elderly, the easier it is to spot and report abuse and neglect of all kinds. Companionship is also critical during personal losses, Covid, and other times of isolation.
“Studies show that seniors who maintain strong social bonds — such as a connection with a companion — are at less risk for developing age-related conditions such as ‘Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and some forms of cancer.’”
Hand-in-hand with checking in, is giving back. As we age, it often becomes difficult to do some daily tasks like grocery shopping and yard work. As a community, we can support those who wish to age in place by lending a helping hand and taking care of simple tasks like groceries, meals, collecting the mail, taking out the trash, pet care, and more. These small gestures can make a huge difference—plus you will have the chance to get to know your neighbors!
We are huge proponents for advocacy. State and federal representatives may not always listen when we speak, but that does not mean we shouldn’t make our voices heard. Great things happen when we speak up and advocate for what is right. In the past we have offered a number of suggestions on how to advocate for the elderly, but here are a few key actions you can take.
- Download and use the Consumer Voice Social Media Kit. This social media kit is designed to give you easy-to-access tools that you can post across social media. By doing so, you are helping spread awareness of elder abuse and what is needed to end abuse in nursing homes across the country.
- Learn how to identify and report abuse. Physical, financial, emotional, and sexual abuse, along with neglect, isolation, and invisible abuses all have signs. Knowing those signs and how to report it is one of the best ways to be an active advocate.Learn more here
- Meet with your representative. This is not always an option, but if you have the chance to meet with a local or Federal representative, it is a great way to advocate for older Americans. While you prepare to meet with your representative, be sure to have relevant statistics to share and a specific request or policy that you’re advocating for. Visit this document to learn how to set up a meeting, and review The National Consumer Voice’s advice for meeting with representatives.
An aging-friendly world starts with all of us. We can create communities that defend the vulnerable and prevent our elderly citizens from being tucked away and forgotten about. The current issues within the nursing home industry are extensive and there is a lot to do. Let’s start with our own communities!
If you or a loved one has been the victim of abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (877-460-1187) today for a FREE consultation and the best legal representation.