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The needs of elderly patients should be considered and addressed because this group of individuals encounters many challenges and barriers to care. This paper reviews two advocacy agencies in Montclair, NJ, and discusses their current actions and campaigns aimed to improve the quality of senior citizens’ lives. The report also suggests new advocacy actions and a policy designed to make care more accessible to elderly patients. It concludes that it is necessary to enhance the accessibility of care for patients.
The first agency that advocates for the elderly in Montclair is Unicity Eldercare. The organization’s services include regular visits to their clients, scheduling appointments with medical professionals, and create follow-up reports (“How we can help,” 2018). One of the current campaigns of the company considers the needs of the elderly with dementia and Alzheimer’s specifically. The aim of it is to support the individuals living with these diseases and engage them in activities designed to improve the quality of their lives.
Unicity Eldercare provides education and sensitivity training on dementia and Alzheimer’s. Such programs may ensure that people taking care of individuals understand how to approach them, manage possible aggressive behavior, and minimize stress for elderly people, their families, and care providers. Moreover, the organization reports that its strategy for advocacy is to allow each individual to receive proper attention and care and control their adherence to prescribed medications.
Another organization that advocates for elderly people in the community are Partners for Health Foundation. In 2014, it launched a program that was designed to address the challenges senior citizens may encounter, including the issues related to housing, public transportation, entertainment, and parking (“Lifelong Montclair,” 2018). The current activities of the organization are the establishment of the Montclair Institute for Lifelong Learning and the Lifelong Montclair Directory of Senior Services. These actions provide elderly individuals with opportunities to socialize, learn new skills, including dancing, gardening, and working with computers. Moreover, Partners for Health Foundation has engaged many stakeholders in supporting services for senior patients.
Advocating for patients is necessary to eliminate the challenges they may encounter and are unable to resolve. Jansson et al. (2015) note that patient advocacy is “an ethical duty” of healthcare providers (p. 163). Several advocacy actions may be recommended based on the research in the field and the observations at the practicum site. For example, the study by Jin, Simpkins, Ji, Leis, & Stambler (2015) suggests that it is necessary for organizations to create funds and invest in research aimed to extend the lifespan of the elderly population.
It is also crucial that medical institutions and advocacy agencies establish community forums that will provide the elderly with an opportunity to discuss their concerns and inspire the local population to contribute to the cause. The individuals may do so by investing money into campaigns aimed to improve individuals’ quality of life, volunteer in hospitals and nursing homes, and help independent senior citizens.
The policy that may be suggested is to establish a fund that will cover the medical expenses of both insured and uninsured elderly individuals and require medical institutions to use this source. Such a policy is necessary because many people in America cannot afford full coverage of health care, especially those who may need it the most. As several agencies support elderly people in Montclair, it may be possible for them to join their efforts and create a single fund supported by public and individual stakeholders.
In Montclair, Unicity Eldercare and Partners for Health Foundation advocate for elderly patients. Their goals are to improve the conditions of individuals having dementia and Alzheimer’s, resolve the problems associated with housing and public transportation, and increase their adherence to treatment. The suggested advocacy actions and policies may include the establishment of community forums and funds that will decrease patients’ expenses on care and enhance the accessibility of treatment.
How we can help our clients in Montclair, NJ. (2018). Web.
Jansson, B. S., Nyamathi, A., Duan, L., Kaplan, C., Heidemann, G., & Ananias, D. (2015). Validation of the patient advocacy engagement scale for health professionals. Research in Nursing & Health, 38(2), 162-172. Web.
Jin, K., Simpkins, J. W., Ji, X., Leis, M., & Stambler, I. (2015). The critical need to promote research of aging and aging-related diseases to improve health and longevity of the elderly population. Aging and Disease, 6. Web.
Lifelong Montclair – Aging in place. (2018). Web.