Why is the Older People’s Commissioner Reviewing advocacy arrangements in care homes?
The Older People’s Commissioner worked with Age Cymru to support the publication of Advocacy Counts 3, which surveyed the provision and availability of advocacy services in Wales. The report found that the provision of advocacy services for older people in Wales is inconsistent and that there are still large areas of the country that do not have funded advocacy services.
Preliminary research commissioned shows that advocacy can be of crucial importance to older people at all stages of decision making regarding care homes: from deciding to enter, whilst living in the care home, or when moving from it.
A large proportion of the casework of the Commissioner’s Information and Enquiries team involves concerns about older people’s experiences of care homes. Many of these cases related to situations where access to an independent advocate would be beneficial and may have led to different outcomes.
Through engagement with advocacy organisations, care homes and other relevant organisations, the particular vulnerability of older people within care homes has been highlighted; the Commissioner has a particular role in protecting the most vulnerable older people where it is difficult for them to speak up for themselves.
Advocacy is widely recognised as a valuable and important safeguard but is not universally available. The Older People’s Commissioner for Wales therefore has a clear role in securing the best possible advocacy services for older people in Wales.
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