Story provided by Aging Advocates
Advocate—one that pleads a cause of another; one that supports or promotes the interests of another.
Aging Advocates, a group of area businesses and agencies in the Payne County area meet monthly to advocate for older adults. From their experiences, they innovate ideas and raise awareness of older adult issues. It is important to look at the developing needs of the aging population and support, educate, and identify services valuable to a life fully lived.
The group began meeting about three years ago. They work independently with older adults and collectively to bring awareness to aging issues and available resources. “When one of our clients needed paid caregivers, we were able to work with the Aging Advocates group who supplied us with a multitude of names and references. The professionalism and experience is a great resource for families and all of us within the occupation of caring for senior adults. We bounce ideas off of one another to come up with the best solution,” explains Lisa Jones, Health Services Coordinator at LIFE Adult Day Center.
Another Aging Advocate, Gladeen Allred, shared one of the reasons why she joined, “One of my gerontology professors once said, ‘The way we treat older adults today is the way we will be treated when we are older.’ I believe it is important for people of any age to be treated with respect and to have rights and dignity.”
In addition to networking and sharing ideas, they have hosted several health fairs giving caregivers the opportunity to learn about available resources. The group has collaborated with other community resources to broaden the learning experience. For example, the Lions perform sight and hearing tests while nursing students from Meridian Tech do blood pressure checks.
On Thursday, Oct. 4, Aging Advocates are hosting “Mindfulness and Aging: Supporting your Family” from 6-8 p.m. at First Christian Church. At this free event, LIFE Adult Day Center staff members will provide caregiver support so that those attending may listen to speakers and participate in the round table discussions.
Members of the Aging Advocates include the Area Agency on Aging, Karman Legacy Hospice, Oklahoma State University professors interested in gerontological issues, LIFE Adult Day Center, Community Health Center, state ombudsman representatives, SMC Home Health, Oklahoma State University Volunteer Center, Precision Hearing Solutions, Stillwater Medical Center, HealthBack Home Health, Cushing Senior Perspectives and representatives from Primrose, Golden Oaks, Grace Living Center, Southern Oaks, Westhaven Nursing Home and Linwood Village.
Anyone interested in helping find solutions to senior adult issues and joining the Aging Advocates organization should contact the group through Valerie Bloodgood, Karman Legacy Hospice, 405-377-8012.