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Here you can listen to and read the stories of people who have needed the support of an advocate.
In the short video below, Gwen* talks about her experiences.
Pat* was the main carer for her husband who had Multiple Sclerosis. She was described by others as an “expert carer”.
Pat’s husband was neglected by nursing staff responsible for caring for him at home and he was admitted to hospital. Sadly, he later died.
Pat was unhappy with her husband’s treatment, but found it extremely difficult to get her concerns addressed by the professionals involved. Pat had been a health visitor, teacher and then lecturer throughout her career, but she still found the investigation and complaints process difficult to navigate. Pat explains:
“I had thought a complaint was fairly straightforward. I wasn’t aware of advocates before. I really felt I had to carry on, that this really wasn’t right and somebody had to hold these people to account”
Someone suggested she approach an advocate, and Pat contacted a local advocacy service.
“My advocate, Michelle, was a very good listener and a great comfort. She asked me questions to understand my point of view, and this helped trigger my memory and focus my mind on exactly what I wanted to say. Michelle supported me to write letters to explain my thoughts clearly. She also attended meetings as moral support –I really felt I needed someone there for me. It is so important to have someone who knows how these processes work on your side”.
Pat’s complaints have since been upheld.
Mari* lives in a care home. Mari’s advocate, Lisa, supports her to manage her affairs. Mari explains:
“I hadn’t a clue where to begin. I would have been all at sea without her, she has been my anchor. She is able to speak on my behalf when I don’t feel able – she doesn’t advise me, but listens to what I have to say and explains things to me clearly.
I don’t have any family nearby to support me. I used to have an awful feeling of worry; I used to wake up in the night crying. I haven’t had one of those nights since I met my advocate Lisa: she gives me reassurance.
It’s a wonderful service. I don’t know what I’d do without it. If you’ve got a big problem and you’re worried, sometimes your brain doesn’t work clearly like it should. An advocate explains things to you so you see clearly. You can make your own choices then”
Here you can listen to advocates from Age Cymru Gwent and Age Cymru Swansea Bay explaining why they believe advoacy is so important.
If you belive that older people at risk of abuse should have the right to have their voice and wishes heard, please take action today. Make your voice heard by sending a letter to your Assembly Members: we've made a template for you to follow which you can download by visiting our Make your voice heard page.
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