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Step 7: Following up

After a meeting, it is important to thank those who participated, especially if they have agreed to help you with fall prevention efforts. While it is easy to send an email thanking someone, a letter or hand-written note will carry more weight because it shows you made an extra effort to thank them. This also provides a good opportunity to mention what each side has agreed to do.

As mentioned above, remember to follow up to ensure the completion of action items and next steps. More importantly, offer to help ...

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Step 6: Meeting with your target audience

Once you have made contact and secured a meeting date, prepare the materials as described in Step 4. Even if you have already given these materials to the person or group with whom you will be meeting, be sure to bring copies for everyone, and include extra copies. Bringing older adult advocates with you will make your audience listen more closely to your message, especially if they talk about what is going well and not just what is needed. In addition, not all solutions are costly, and this should be ...

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Step 5: Making contact

Since all of these individuals are regularly flooded with requests for their time and attention, it is best to provide them with information in a variety of formats to gain their attention. Sending a Letters with a press release, followed by a telephone call, provides a good start. It may take several phone calls and emails to receive a reply, but persistence and patience often pay off. Elected officials respond to their constituents, and it is important to get their staff on board as well as the staff from ...

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Step 4: Preparing written materials

Regardless of the advocacy goals you choose, preparing written materials is a key ingredient to success. The following types of materials are useful to bring to your meetings as visuals. They are useful to your audience as you make your presentation and also serve as reminders of your visit once you have left the agency or organization:

Handouts that highlight the problem of falls (e.g., on average, one out of three older adults falls per year; the number of older adults in your community hospitalized annually as a result of ...

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Step 3: Setting the agenda for advocacy meetings / presentations

In this section, possible discussion topics for each of the three groups mentioned above are presented. Not all of the following topics are appropriate for all communities, and as noted above, your choice of discussion items will depend on your advocacy goal and the current climate in your community. This list is by no means exhaustive. Add your suggestions to the list and share your good ideas with others.

Group 1: Possible topics to discuss with Public Health Department directors and Area Agency on Aging directors and/or planners include:

describing ...

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Step 2: Identifying your target audience

Depending on your chosen advocacy goals, there are several groups of people who may be able to assist you with your efforts:

Group 1: Public Health Department directors and Area Agency on Aging directors and/or planners.

Group 2: Elected officials (such as state legislators, county board of supervisors, city council, the mayor) and other important officials (such as the city manager, urban planners, housing staffers, the parks & recreation supervisor, and senior services directors)

Group 3: The media, such as local radio stations, talk show hosts, local news, and newscasters

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Step 1: Identifying your advocacy goal

Always start by clarifying your advocacy plans for yourself: What are you asking for? What costs are involved? What would be provided as a result? What benefits will result? We encourage you to carefully analyze the political, budgetary, and cultural climate in your community as you choose your advocacy goals to increase the odds for success. Working with your stakeholders will also help in this process. Generating ideas with older adults and including them in the advocacy process will bring more power to your message. Potential advocacy goals are listed ...

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