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Human Rights of the Elderly - Will Their Rights Be Protected?

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has today launched a new guide for older people, their families and friends in England and Wales.

It claims to provides an easy to understand guide to home care and human rights.

“Your rights to home care’’ aims to empower older people so they know they are entitled to a home care service that respects their human rights, however funded, and what to do if those rights are at risk. The guide follows the launch of the Commission’s ‘Close to Home’ inquiry report one year ago, which showed that many older people are reluctant to complain about inadequate care.

The guide features:

What to look for when searching for a home care provider;
Case studies with examples;
A checklist of rights home care users are entitled to;
Funding for home care services;
How to make a complaint

This is clearly laudable and may lead to an improvment in the dignity of elderly people but it is worth reflecting on the fact that bulk of elderly people who have their human rights infringed do not complain. They suffer in silence.

The report provides detailed instructions on how to complain and advises of the options of bringing legal actions. The problem facing individuals is the actual costs of legal action. One option is to use a complex judicial review process. What about the cost involved in that?

The reality is the bulk of people who have their human rights infringed may need an advisor but require an effective advocate who can make the message but obtain remedies(including compensation) with minimal cost.

Justin Patten, Mediator

P.S By coincidence today, there is reporting that a growing number of pensioners with dementia are denied help to eat and drink, robbed of their privacy and treated “as if they were not there”, as care homes and hospitals struggle to cope, the Care Quality Commission said.

In a major report based on 13,000 inspections, the regulator warned that too many nurses and care home staff oversaw “a care culture in which the unacceptable becomes the norm”.

The growing pressures of staff shortages, poor training, and rising numbers of patients with complicated health conditions were compromising standards of care, it said.

My take - The elderly are treated shabbily and sometimes in a sub-human way. Their problems are that if their rights are infringed, practical options are limited.