The Importance of Advocating for our Elders

We all play an important role in protecting our vulnerable population. As RNs, RPNs or PSWs it is our responsibility to advocate on our residents’ behalf.

The role of the Registered Nurse in LTC is often one of supervision and leadership. If there is one thing I have learned over the years as a Nurse, it is to listen.

PSWs are our eyes and ears. PSWs spend the most time at the bedside with our residents. They see changes that would otherwise go unnoticed.

I have a tremendous amount of respect for them and I value the information that they provide.

Family members also provide us with great information about their loved ones.  They too see the small changes that often have a huge impact on our residents health. They not only provide information about the present but key information about their loved one’s history. We are all a valuable part of the team.

A key part of advocating for our vulnerable is to never stop questioning. Be their voice. Some examples of this is when a resident has a fall, a change in behaviour, a change in health condition, it is our duty to figure out why and to ensure continuous communication with everyone involved.

As a healthcare provider, regardless of our role, or  as a family member, we must continue to question.

If we approach every situation in LTC with our own loved ones in mind, and treat them how we would want our own family treated we will always make the right choice.

There is nothing more valuable than our elderly and we must continue to be their voice.

Charlene Cameron

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