Opportunity to highlight need for independent advocacy for older people

Hourglass (formerly Action on Elder Abuse) is the only charity that specialises in helping older victims of all types of abuse and neglect. Hourglass are conducting a survey is to identify how they can work with partners to ensure that the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people is prevented, identified and stopped in our communities. The survey can be accessed on Survey Monkey and should take no longer than 6 minutes to complete.

The survey contains opportunities for working in partnership with Hourglass including two-way referrals and an offer of training for your organisation.

If you have the time to respond to the consultation, you are welcomed to use and modify SIAA’s responses to the two policy questions that specifically highlight independent advocacy as a key service for older poeple at-risk of or facing abuse (response below).

Please note the closing date for responding to this consultation exercise is Monday 14 June 2021.

 

SIAA’s responses to key policy related survey questions:

Question 6. What do you see are the gaps in local service provision for older people at-risk of or facing abuse?  (You can choose more than one response)

We would like to see wider provision of independent advocacy services, both individual and collective, for older people at-risk of or facing abuse.

Independent advocacy safeguards people who are marginalised and discriminated against or whom services find difficult to serve, empowering people who need a stronger voice by enabling them to express their own needs and make their own decisions. Independent advocacy plays an integral role in helping to ensure that an individual’s human rights are respected by offering access to justice on an equal and non-discriminatory basis with others. It does this by addressing issues of autonomy and choice, and by supporting an individual’s voice and opinions to be meaningfully heard.

Older people will often have a right to access independent advocacy in various pieces of legislation but we often hear from our members that resoucing is not sufficient for older people to access their services.

Question 14. We are committed to changing policies and legislation in all Nations.  What do you see are the key priorities in Scotland?

SIAA’s policy priorities are around promoting, supporting and defending independent advocacy, with a view to widening access to independent advocacy and ensuring people in Scotland can have their human rights respected and realised. We see independent advocacy as relating to the following priority areas in the following ways:

  • Human rights: Independent advocacy helps people to know about their human rights and ensure they are upheld.
  • Equality: Independent advocacy helps to shift power balances, giving people more control over their lives and increasing levels of fairness and equality.
  • Health and well-being: Independent advocacy helps people to participate in decisions, leading to improved confidence and self-esteem and better outcomes for both physical and mental health.
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