You may not have ever thought about becoming an advocate for your senior family member, but some caregivers find that it helps them to feel like they’re accomplishing something for all elderly folks. If you’re feeling the urge, but you’re not sure what to do, consider these ideas.
Educate Yourself on Policy Issues that Affect Older Adults
There is a ton of legislation and other public policy that directly affects aging adults. The more that you know, the better prepared you will be. Check first with local agencies that work with senior citizens and then branch out also to national agencies. Groups such as the American Association of Retired Persons, or AARP, keep their members very informed about issues that affect them.
Write and Call Your Representatives
Your elected representatives, both local and national, are the people who are responsible for making changes to the laws that affect your aging adult. Taking the time to write a quick letter or to place a phone call to one of your legislators can help to make your voice heard and ensure that your senior family member is represented. There are a variety of apps available that will walk you through the process, too, which can save even more time and energy.
Attend Local Meetings and Committees and Speak, if Possible
Your local government, which consists of city, county, and other committees and commissions, are also a place for you to make your voice heard as an advocate for the elderly. Attending these types of meetings can help you to become more comfortable with talking to elected officials.
Letters to the Editor Still Work
Still nervous about becoming an advocate? Letters to the editor of your local paper are still just as effective as they’ve always been. Consider taking a few minutes over the span of a few days to map out what you want to say and then send it in. You might be surprised how much one simple letter can do.
If you’re called to do more advocacy work on behalf of your aging adult, you don’t have to put that to the side. Consider hiring senior care providers who can give you some time to be both a caregiver and an advocate.