NEWS FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The next meeting will be held at 7:00pm, October 27, 2016 at the Groton Public Library, Room 5.
So many senior citizens residing in nursing homes spend each day isolated and alone. Although they once led normal and active lives, they are now cut off from the community. For various reasons, many residents have little or no interaction with their friends and family.
WHO WE ARE
The Thames Area Citizen Advocacy Program, Inc. (TACAP) is a non-profit social services agency. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for the elderly or persons with disabilities (protégés) who have no family or friends involved in their lives by establishing and supporting long-term, unpaid, one-to-one friendships with volunteers from the community (citizen advocates).
TACAP provides support to between ten and twenty protégés in the New London County, Connecticut, area. About another ten protégés are awaiting an advocate to be matched with.
Volunteers are needed as there are about twice as many protégés as there are advocates. The TACAP Board of Directors are also looking for more members. They meet the last Monday of every month at the Groton Public Library.
If you are interested in volunteering, donating, or providing any other kind of support, please contact the TACAP coordinator.
ROLE OF A CITIZEN ADVOCATE
A Citizen Advocate willingly takes on one or more roles to improve the quality of life for a person living in a nursing facility who has limited contact with family and friends. The specific roles are determined by the Citizen Advocate and his or her protégé, and may include:• Inviting your protégé to participate in your family life.
• Acting on behalf of the needs and interests of your protégé.
• Introducing your protégé into the mainstream of community life.
• Speaking out on behalf of your protégé at meetings of service providers.
• Acting on behalf of the needs and interests of your protégé with as much energy as you would expend to protect your own interests.
• Doing the ordinary things that define friendship like shopping, going to the movies, walking in the park, talking to each and meeting friends.
ROLE OF TACAP WITHIN THE COMMUNITY
With the support and assistance of the TACAP Board of Directors and staff, the citizen advocate provides opportunities for his or her protégé, which has seldom previously been available. By working together, the citizen advocate and protégé eliminate the barriers such as discrimination and isolation, creating bridges which make it possible for the protégé to become a meaningful member of the community.
ADVOCATE TRAINING AND SUPPORT
TACAP provides training to the citizen advocate before making a match, and follow-along support for both the citizen advocate and protégé for as long as they want this support and assistance. It is important to understand that the citizen advocate is a volunteer to his or her protégé, not to the citizen advocacy program, and as such, the two people involved in the relationship set the goals and boundaries of their relationship.
While the Board of Directors manages the program and sets guidelines for staff, it is the citizen advocate who gives meaning and purpose to the concept of citizen advocacy.
• To improve the quality of life for senior citizens and those with disabilities living in the New London County nursing homes by offering them the opportunity to have a friend and advocate.
• To make it possible for senior citizens and those with disabilities to, as fully as they are able, participate in the mainstream of community life.
• To identify issues and problems facing senior citizens without family or friends involved in their lives, and to assist citizen advocates in resolving those issues.
• To make the community as a whole more aware of the unmet needs and desires of senior citizens and people with disabilities living in nursing homes.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Need more information? Fill out the on-line questionnaire that will enable us to determine your level of interest. TACAP is willing to present to your organization, whether it be a community service organization, such as a senior center, or a faith based organization. TACAP is also looking for new volunteers in every capacity, whether it be an advocate, potential donor, fundraiser, or board member.
Thames Area Citizens Advocacy Program, Inc.
Thames Area Citizens Advocacy Program, Inc.
Building bridges between elderly people and the community
36 Occum Lane
Uncasville, CT. 06382 Telephone 860-373-0560 email TACAP coordinator