What is advocacy?


Knowing what formal and informal advocacy is, and when and how it should be applied, is vital for the health and wellbeing of older people benefitting from care services. In the latest NICE guidance on this subject “Advocacy services for adults with health and social care needs” the importance of adults knowing about the benefits of independent advocacy and how to access it were researched, and the guidance made it clear that care providers should be able to signpost people to both formal and informal advocacy as appropriate.

But what does this mean in practice? Well you may be happy to hear that recognising a need for advocacy is pretty straightforward and so is taking the next steps once the need has been recognised. Take a look at our short explanatory film and email any questions to sharon.jenkins@opaal.org.uk.

And remember of our page “Resources for Individuals” there are several FREE advocacy checklists that anyone can download that can help prepare for some of those difficult conversations we may want or need to have in order to enjoy our later life.



Planning for possible a kind and compassionate death with the Anne Robson Trust

It is a difficult subject for man of us to consider, but our death is inevitable and therefore it can only be beneficial for each of us to consider what the final weeks and days of our lives might look like AND how we would like our affairs to be left for others to finalise on our behalf. With that in mind we have partnered with The Anne Robson Trust who do a wonderful job of supporting those who are facing the end of their lives and their loved ones. Their amazing work includes:
  • Supporting hospitals to set up and run teams of volunteers to provide bedside companionship to patients on the ward in their final weeks or days, and emotional support to the patients’ visitors. From helping with coordinator recruitment to providing intensive coordinator training and associated documentation – we are a one-stop shop to help hospitals get support to the bedside of dying patients as quickly and efficiently as possible – this service is provided completely free of charge.
  • Running a Telephone Support Service, to provide listening and compassion to people nearing the end of their life, and those facing the loss of someone they love and the feelings of isolation that can bring.
  • Enabling honest and open conversations about the end of life and the ways in which families can prepare for it, with the help of  their My Wishes checklist.
  • Delivering workshops/training to corporate groups, care home staff, carers organisations and many more.
  • Through the end of life volunteer teams, the Anne Robson Trust reaches so many people in their final days and hours of life – working in partnership with NHS Trusts.

The challenge of discussing spiritual shifts as we age.


As the sands of time sift through the hourglass of our lives, it is inevitable that our perspectives and beliefs evolve. One aspect of our personal journey that often undergoes significant transformation is spirituality. Yet, despite the profound impact it can have on our lives, discussing changes in spirituality as we age remains a delicate and often uncharted territory.

By fostering open dialogue, we can cultivate an environment of acceptance and understanding. As we continue to age, let us strive to create spaces where the unspoken can find its voice, allowing the symphony of diverse spiritual journeys to harmonize into a melody of acceptance and connection.

The wonderful Marie Curie organisation offers many thoughtful and helpful points to consider on the subject of spirituality and palliative care for healthcare professionals on their website.

If you need to start that conversation, this FREE checklist could maybe help.

Love, romance and sexual intimacy in care homes.


At what point do we decide that love, sex and romance is no longer of interest to us? Well the answer is for a great many people NEVER!

And moving to a care setting is no reason for any adult to be denied expression of these feelings that help give us such an enormous sense of wellbeing and happiness.

With that in mind, here is the Royal College of Nurses’ Report on Older People in Care Homes: Sex Sexuality and Intimate Relationships.

This report provides invaluable insight into how love, sex and romance can be supported for older people in care settings, in a compassionate and understand way.


If you or someone you know needs to start a conversation about their sex life in any way then checkout our FREE checklist to get that conversation started.

Exercise is excellent!


There is no denying that exercise is a great way to generate self confidence and to boost morale. This premise has recently been endorsed by the World Health Organisation who has produced a helpful tooklkit to keep us all moving, health and happy in later life!

If your organisation wants to do more to support older people with their exercise needs and wants, you can also contact Sport Works

Older woman

When you need legal advice, you can get help from LawWorks – The Solicitors Pro Bono Group

In modern times it is undeniable that from time to time we will all need the advice and support of someone with legal expertise. But what do you do if your resources simply will not stretch to what can be an expensive service? Thankfully we are proud to say that one of our members LawWorks are here to help.

LawWorks is a charity working in England and Wales to connect volunteer lawyers with people in need of legal advice, who are not eligible for legal aid and cannot afford to pay and with the the not-for-profit organisation that support them. Laworks helped Aisha, a 63 year old woman living with a number of health conditions, challenge the decision regarding her Personal Independent Payment, when Aisha was unable to speak up about her needs on her own.


If you or someone you know needs to start a conversation about getting some legal advice our FREE resources could help start that conversation.



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