Older Persons Issues
We work with older people from a variety of settings whether they are in their own homes, in hospital or in Residential or Supported Accommodation.
Our work is primarily about helping to improve the quality of life of older people. Clients are assisted in resolving specific problems which, for a variety of reasons, they are unable to sort out on their own. The issues we can support with cover most aspects of peoples’ lives including housing, health provision and care and support packages.
Advocacy is person centred by definition. This is particularly relevant to dementia advocacy and dementia care which puts the individual and their needs foremost, recognising and supporting their unique personal history and personality. Their dementia is secondary.
There are two sides to advocacy which are particularly relevant to those with dementia: empowering and safeguarding.
By empowering an individual, we give them a voice, we include them in all decisions that affect their lives and we enable them to make decisions and express their views and wishes.
Safeguarding is particularly important when the individual may no longer be able to express themselves and make choices. Through our role we protect them from discrimination and neglect and ensure that their rights are respected and upheld. We also ensure that all decisions that are made take into account any expressed wishes and known aspects of their life that may enhance their quality of life.
Moving to Care/Residential Homes – 13ZA legislation
As a result of the new Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007, the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968 was amended to include powers under Section 13ZA, to provide services to adults who have been assessed as needing a service but who lack the capacity to consent to receiving that service.
Section 13ZA makes it explicit that, where a local authority has concluded, following an assessment of the adult’s needs, that the adult requires a community care service but is not capable of making decisions about the service, they may take any steps which they consider necessary to help the adult benefit from that service.
A 13ZA meeting is then held where the client’s Mental Health Officer or lead Social Worker will outline the reasons why the client has been subject to the interventions such as move to a Residential Home and explain why they cannot make this decision themselves.
Role of Advocacy in 13ZA
An Advocate’s role in the 13ZA process is to discuss with the client their wishes and try to establish whether the client would like to be subject to certain care packages or accommodation options outlined by the Multi-Disciplinary team.
If the client is non-Instructed, the Advocate should gain as much information as possible about the client’s life, financial circumstances and wellbeing from relevant people in the client’s life.
The Advocate will then attend the 13ZA meeting and outline the client’s wishes, or the proposed outcome considering the Human Rights Act.
Food Train provides a range of services, delivered by volunteers, to older people in Scotland including grocery shopping home deliveries, household support services and befriending services.
Care Call is a support service operated by Dumfries and Galloway Council in partnership with NHS Dumfries and Galloway and Social Work Services.
This is a 24 hour 365 day response service which works through a special control unit connected to the telephone line, helping you to remain safe in your own home.