Home Reports Local Authorities in England and Wales Under Fire for Failing to Promote Independent Advocacy for Older People

Local Authorities in England and Wales Under Fire for Failing to Promote Independent Advocacy for Older People

by Kirsty Kirsty

The Older People’s Advocacy Alliance (OPAAL) is raising serious concerns over the lack of promotion of independent advocacy services for older people on the websites of Local Authorities across England and Wales.

Despite the critical role independent advocacy plays in safeguarding the rights and interests of older individuals, a recent assessment conducted by OPAAL reveals a distressing trend of inadequate representation and promotion of these services on official Local Authority platforms.

Independent advocacy serves as a vital lifeline for older people, particularly those facing complex healthcare decisions, navigating social care services, or dealing with issues of abuse or neglect. By providing impartial support and empowering older individuals to express their needs and preferences, independent advocacy ensures that their voices are heard and respected within decision-making processes.

However, OPAAL’s assessment found that a significant number of Local Authorities in England and Wales have failed to adequately promote independent advocacy services on their websites. This oversight not only undermines the accessibility of these crucial support services but also perpetuates barriers to older people seeking assistance and representation.

Colette Isaaks, Director of OPAAL, emphasizes the urgency of addressing this issue: “It is deeply concerning to see Local Authorities neglecting to promote independent advocacy for older people, especially considering the invaluable role these services play in upholding the rights and dignity of our older population. Access to advocacy is a fundamental aspect of ensuring older individuals can navigate complex systems and make informed decisions about their lives.”

OPAAL calls upon Local Authorities to take immediate action to rectify this oversight by:

1. Ensuring prominent and easily accessible information about independent advocacy services on their websites.

2. Collaborating with advocacy organizations to raise awareness and promote the availability of advocacy support for older people.

3. Implementing measures to evaluate and improve the visibility of advocacy services on an ongoing basis.

As the population continues to age, it is imperative that Local Authorities prioritize the promotion of independent advocacy to safeguard the well-being and rights of older individuals.

Click for the full report and for further information or inquiries, please contact:

Colette Isaaks

Director, Older People’s Advocacy Alliance


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