Year-end is a special time to gather with family and friends, review the past year and prepare for the one ahead. 

Square One’s first year was very exciting; I talked to numerous community groups about elder and health advocacy: what it is, why it’s important, and how everyone can use the basics to improve health care and manage caregiving.  Talks included:

  • Women Lawyers Associations of San Luis Obispo County, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Napa County
  • UC Santa Barbara Academic and Staff Assistance Program
  • Congregation Beth David, San Luis Obispo
  • A local chapter of PEI, a world-wide philanthropic women’s organization

My keynote talk at the New Mexico Addiction Education Network’s Silver City Conference was titled “Health Advocacy for Elders Affected by Substance Abuse and Addiction.”  In the course of preparing this material, I became more aware of the critical role ageism plays in health care of all kinds, and of the need to combat it.

Square One also appeared in the news.  I contributed to a US News and World Report article discussing what patients can do if they think they are being discharged from a hospital too soon.  The article appeared in August, 2018, and you can find it here:

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-08-14/what-to-do-if-you-feel-the-hospital-is-discharging-you-too-soon

Another article featuring Square One will appear early next year.  I was interviewed at length for a piece on common shortcomings of hospice care, which will be published in February by Bottom Line Health.  You’ll be able to find the article on this site: www.bottomlineinc.com

In October, I learned that I passed the national certification examination for professional health advocates, so I am now a Board Certified Professional Advocate (BCPA).  The BCPA credential is new and was awarded for the first time in 2018.  It reflects the growing recognition that many health care consumers need trained advocates to get quality care.

My work-related travel included a Summit for the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates, the annual “gathering” of the Village to Village Network, and the Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care conference.  At home, I organized and was MC for “Revolutionize Aging,” a program sponsored by SLO Village and Dignity Health.  Charlotte Dickson, the Executive Director of Village Movement California, was our featured speaker.  I am working with Charlotte to develop “community resilience” as a theme for villages in California. 

None of this would have been possible without the many people who contribute their time, expertise and support of all kinds to Square One.  I am fortunate to have this network, and thankful for each person in it.

In the coming year I will extend my outreach to employers, organizations and individuals to increase Square One’s impact:

  • Teaching people essential skills for managing caregiving, patient safety, and health care
  • Delivering programs that promote workplace productivity and help recruit and retain employees
  • Informing people of all ages about ways to extend elders’ independence and live fulfilling lives at every stage

I am excited about Square One’s next year and hope you will join me: attend a program, visit my website (www.SquareOneAdvocacy.com) or connect me to an individual or group that wants to improve quality of life for caregivers, elders, and health care consumers – in other words, all of us.

Best wishes to all for a healthy and productive 2019 –

Linda Beck