We are always encouraging the public to advocate for the safety, respectful treatment, and quality of life of older Americans. By doing so, we are able to set up solid, well-run systems that cater to the needs of one of the most vulnerable demographics. Additionally, advocacy results in laws and policies that can radically change the nursing home environment, making it safer and cleaner, and reducing the rate of abuse. Here are 4 great ways to advocate for older Americans so we can get closer to abuse-free nursing homes and living environments for everyone!
Social media is a very simple way to spread awareness of elder abuse, make others aware of the signs, and encourage people to report abuse when they see it or experience it. The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care has great resources for social media like pre-written Tweets and hashtags that easily help spread the word. Take a look at their resources here, and consider using your platform to spread the word!
Meet With or Contact Your Representatives
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.
Write a Letter
Old fashioned letter writing is a great way to advocate. Whether you’re writing to your government representative, a letter to the editor, or writing to nursing home management, letters are a great way to grab the individual’s attention and getting your opinion heard. Make sure your letter is courteous, succinct, informative, and contains a definitive ask or call to action.
Petitions are usually put together by established advocacy groups that have great connections with people who are able to effect change. Signing a petition (like this one) is a really easy way to make a huge difference and be a voice for the voiceless. Following groups like the Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly or Legal Advocates for Seniors and People with Disabilities will help you know when petitions are made available.
Advocating for yourself or your loved one doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. With a few, very simple, steps you can help make a difference in the quality of life for older Americans and ensure a safer future for generations to come. Take a few minutes to speak up and be the change our nursing home system needs.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of elder abuse, call Gharibian Law (877-875-1119) today for a free consultation and the best legal representation.