By Colette Isaaks, Director of OPAAL
There is an increasing population of older people in the UK who, for a variety of reasons, are struggling to make their needs and wants known. In our rapidly changing social and economic circumstances, many service providers rely on older people having adult children, or other supportive adults, to help them resolve the kinds of everyday problems we all could encounter.
In particular, for the growing numbers of people who are ageing without children or close adult supporters, or for those whose close contacts are simply not the right people to help them, there is a huge gap in simple, practical support.
The Older People’s Advocacy Alliance (OPAAL) have built on our legacy of supporting older people to access independent advocacy, by providing a series of free resources to enable older people to better speak up for themselves, or to find someone within their network to help them do so.
OPAAL’s free resources address a range of common stress points for older people, from routine healthcare issues e.g. how to make the most out of doctors visits and phone calls, to asking for energy saving adjustments to be made to their homes. The checklists are available in three different formats, to ensure that they are easy to work with for those who experience eyesight issues or prefer to work with pictures. They are also available in Welsh.
The checklists ensure that the user has properly prepared for the important conversations that they may need to have about their health or where they are living.
OPAAL will be expanding the range of checklists available in the near future to include downloads around work and employment, and other key issues that affect the quality of older people’s lives, including finance, relationships, lifestyle etc.
Without doubt, older people live healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives, with a valuable contribution to the wider community, when their needs, wants and rights are respected. We continue to be very proud to champion this important issue on behalf of older people everywhere.
We are absolutely delighted to be able to offer these free resources to every older person and organisation that has contact with older people, to enable better conversations about the choices older people want to make about how they live their lives they age.
All the checklists are freely available here.