The Issue of Advocacy in the Human Services Field: An Action Plan for Helping the Elderly Population

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Society is built on cooperation and helping those in need. Advocacy is a means for people of a community to help one another through selfless service and sacrifice. The purpose of this essay is to address the issue of advocacy in the human services field as it pertains to a special needs population. The special needs population that this essay will focus on is the elderly population. I will define advocacy as it pertains to this branch of service before describing the evolution of this idea in the human services field. I will then focus on how advocates can help solve problems facing the elderly population by submitting a simple action plan that can assist with this specific problem. According to the Advocacy Resource Exchange advocacy is " taking action to help people say what they want, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain the services they need." In simpler terms an advocate is someone who can help someone else. Advocacy has a method of assistance began in the 1950's and gained momentum in the 1960's. The ARX claimed that "advocacy as provided by today's independent advocacy organizations, evolved from the Citizen Advocacy movement in the United States and Canada in the mid 1960's which stemmed from Bengt Nirge, Wolf Wolfensberger's and John O'Brien's work on normalization. This has been acknowledged by supporters and critics alike as fundamental to advocacy development in a number of countries, most notably the USA, Canada, Australasia, and the

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