One of CALA’s most important functions is advocating on behalf of Assisted Living at the Capitol and across the state, and our members’ participation in this effort is crucial. As experts in the field, they have the power to educate their legislators and fellow citizens about what Assisted Living is and how it benefits the lives of residents. We saw this in action last year when our members helped to ensure the passage of positive legislation impacting Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly.
But Assisted Living advocacy is about more than just education or legislation. At its core, it is about relationship-building and making connections between the elected officials who represent us and our residents who have a wealth of wisdom and life experience to share.
Kathleen Sullivan, Director of Activities for San Carlos Elms, knows the benefits of this type of relationship-building first-hand. She recently shared that her community receives monthly visits from Mark Olbert, the Mayor of San Carlos. She says, “He visits to make sure the residents know what is going on in their community, and gives them the chance to speak their mind.”
This monthly visit has become important, not just to the residents and staff, but to the Mayor as well. “If the Mayor cannot come in, someone from City Council will come in,” says Sullivan. “He has even said that, after his term is over this year, he will make sure that the next mayor knows.” What a wonderful tradition for both the residents of San Carlos Elms and the Mayor of San Carlos!
Have you had elected officials visit your community and meet with your residents? Maybe you’ve participated in CALA’s advocacy events, or written your legislator in favor of a bill. You may be the next Advocate of the Year! Fill out an entry form today and let us know all you’ve done to advocate for Assisted Living in 2014. Deadline: January 23, 2015