CARIE fulfills its core mission — to improve the well being, rights and autonomy of older persons through advocacy, education, and action — through a “case to cause” model of advocacy that serves to promote equal access to justice and addresses problems and issues on both the individual and the systemic levels. Because frail older adults often lack the ability to advocate on their own behalf without assistance, CARIE provides individual advocacy through direct service and systemic advocacy through education and public policy initiatives.
We are different from other agencies—we don’t provide direct services (home care, meals, transportation), we advocate for people to get those services and advocate for dignity and quality care for older people. We work to make sure that everyone finds some resolution to their problem.
One of our clients, Mrs. Brown just wrote to me about her experience with CARIE—here’s what she said:
“I have recently spoken with people at similar agencies, NO ONE has been so prompt in returning my calls, as insightful about the issues, and as clear in making recommendations. I only wish I had known about CARIE months ago. Much time and anguish would have been prevented.”
Our aim is to continue to make sure that people know they can call us for help and avoid the anguish Mrs. Brown felt.
As we look to the future, there are many challenges. The safety net for older adults—one with flaws—is facing imminent threats. Our nation’s expenditures on Medicare and Medicaid (essential programs for the elderly) are “over the top.” We have recently heard that Social Security must change—a potential threat to generations ahead. As we see changes to respond to these problems—the system becomes even more difficult to understand. CARIE is there for older adults to help them understand and navigate this ever more difficult system of services, and to help make a system that is more responsive to the needs of those who use it.