Ireland is ageing and more people are living longer and better lives. A minority of older people require some form of support. Sage Support and Advocacy Service for Older People’s mission is to promote and protect the rights, freedoms and dignity of older people by developing support and advocacy services wherever ageing poses a challenge for individuals.
In the Galway and Mayo areas Sage is recruiting volunteers to support and advocate for older people in their communities. Currently Sage has 16 volunteer Sage Representatives, supported by a local Development Worker, working in Galway and Mayo care settings and communities.
Sage describes advocacy as ‘a process of empowerment of individuals or groups which includes taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests or obtain the services they need.’
Advocacy can be undertaken by individuals themselves, by their friends and relations, by peers and those who have had similar experiences, by professionals and trained volunteers.
Knowing the person’s beliefs, values, wishes and preferences means that an advocate can appropriately support an individual to address issues he/she might face. Active listening and communication are key skills in enabling an advocate in their support and advocacy role.
Sage is working to build a team of people capable of tackling the most complex support and advocacy challenges presented by older people, and needs volunteers to help speak up for people across all care settings. Accredited training and ongoing support is provided.
For more information contact Michelle Rooney on 086 183 1428 or see www.sage.thirdageireland.ie