Sage has developed Quality Standards for Support and Advocacy Work with Older People.
These Quality Standards recognise that advocacy has an important role in helping services to meet the needs of vulnerable individuals.
Quality standards have come to the fore in the delivery of health and social care services especially since the establishment of HIQA
The Quality Standards for Support and Advocacy Work with Older People sets out a vision for support and advocacy work. The Standards have, as their core, the need for greater engagement with older persons in terms of ensuring that their rights are protected and that they are enabled to implement their will and preferences in all social settings. The Standards identify the essential elements that need to be in place to ensure a consistent quality approach to support and advocacy work with older people, whether such support is provided in people’s own homes, in primary care settings, in hospitals or in long-stay residential facilities. The Standards reflect the premise that older persons have the same rights to independence and self-determination as all other citizens. The latter is particularly important for those whose ability to exercise autonomy may be lessened because of a physical or cognitive impairment.
The Standards have been developed by Sage, an organisation operating under the governance of Third Age Ireland, with HSE and Atlantic Philanthropies funding. The mission of Sage 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 an individuals”. Its aim is to address both individual and systemic issues and respond effectively to the challenges that arise as older people’s needs, abilities and places of care change
The Standards are envisaged as being relevant to all models of support and advocacy and to all services engaged in support and advocacy work with older persons as well as to all individuals acting as advocates. The Standards reinforce and reflect the concept of ‘independence’ as central to the advocacy process.