Many people face challenges to their independence as they grow older. This can be due to illness or disability, lack of family and community supports or an inability to access public services that meet their needs. Some people communicate differently and with difficulty and some people slowly lose their ability to make and communicate decisions as a condition, such as dementia, develops over time. Some are abused and exploited because of their vulnerability. Some have faced lifelong hardship as a result of institutional abuse in early life. Others feel disregarded or let down by healthcare services while some are harmed through adverse events or medical negligence. 

In circumstances where people may be vulnerable, or have to depend on others, there is a need to ensure that their rights, freedoms and dignity are promoted and protected. Through support and advocacy the will and preference of a person can be heard and acted on; independent of family, service provider or systems interests


Due to delays in home care services and housing adaptations, older people are often left in hospital awaiting these services, or continue to live at home without a service in situ to support them. Sage Advocacy can provide support with accessing primary care services to support people to continue to live well at home. This often includes substantial negotiations to ensure that the services provided are centred on the needs of clients rather than on administrative systems.

Sage Advocacy supports with a range of issues arising in connection with home care and life at home.

For example: 

  • Advocate for adequate home care and support to enable people live, and die, in the place of their choice.
  • Support to explore home care options
  • Support to return home from a nursing home or hospital, in line with your wishes
  • Collaborate with other agencies in securing support and care for people with advancing dementia. 
  • Assist people to maintain control of their income, benefits or property when others seek to take advantage of them.

Nursing Homes / NHSS / Hospital

Nursing Homes

Sage Advocacy can support with a range of issues arising in connection with nursing home care. For example: 
  • Support to challenge additional charges
  • Questions of deprivation of liberty
  • Challenging inappropriate use of incontinence wear, physical restraint and convenience medication
  • Responding to safeguarding concerns
  • If you have made a decision that you want to leave the nursing home, and nobody else has put pressure on you to make that decision, an advocate can support you in exploring your options to move elsewhere or to return home via a safe and planned discharge.
View our presentation with information about advocacy for nursing home residents here.


Sage Advocacy can support with the process of applying for the Nursing Home Support Scheme (NHSS). The processes involved in an NHSS application are difficult for manage and impossible for some. Some clients referred to Sage are unable to complete the forms on their own, acquire the documentation required to complete their application, or understand how ancillary state support works.
  • An advocate can help in a number of ways, eg:
  • By explaining how the system works
  • Help with gathering necessary documentation to complete the form
  • Explaining how the medical assessment is completed.
  • Support around NHSS assessment of needs and assessment of means/personal contribution calculation
  • Support to gain Transitional Funding extension
  • Support to resolve issues with NHSS application


Sage Advocacy can support with a range of issues arising in connection with acute hospital care. For example:
  • Provide advocacy to people who have serious complaints about healthcare and support with any subsequent internal or external reviews or inquests.
  • Support with complex discharge issues
  • Support with transitional care
  • Addressing issues with hospital discharge or hospital care arising from family conflict
  • Adverse events
  • Safeguarding concerns
  • Questions over ‘next of kin’ being used to attempt to deprive the older person of their own decisions.


Some people in Ireland have faced lifelong hardship as a result of institutional abuse in early life.
Sage Advocacy provides support to older people who have experienced abuse in institutions in the past and who may now be experiencing difficulties in getting necessary supports and services or may even be at risk of further abuse.
Sage Advocacy is currently developing resources in support of survivors of institutional abuse, which will be published here early in 2024.