AGE members remain committed to protecting older people's rights during COVID-19 second wave
Since the first wave of the pandemic in Spring, our members have not relaxed in their effort. Many older people's organisations across Europe remain actively involved to protect the rights of residents in care home, fight against age discrimination, support older people's social inclusion and mental well being. Many are also advocating for COVID-19 exit strategies to respect older people's right to care, autonomy and dignity.
To mention only a few of them:
- In Italy, ANCESCAO warns of increaslingly widespread narrative that sees older people as "non-essential" and a source of problems and costs for society. A trend that inspires simplistic solutions providing for the isolation of older people to save them from Covid, but condemning them to fragility and the onset of sometimes irremediable physical and psychological problems.
On vaccines, ANAP calls for clear rules on vaccinations for the over 80 and those who have previous pathologies. It also calls for speeding up the vaccination plan and clarifying the methods of administering the vaccine. For the Association of seniors and pensioners of Padua, the pandemic is not only a health problem, but also a social problem.
- In Slovenia, ZDUS reacts to a new COVID-19 measure of the Slovene Government that restrict free pass between municipalities in certain regions to holders of the #StayHealthy voluntary mobile application. ZDUS regards this measure as discriminatory for 600.000 older people and calls for immediate change.
- In Belgium and Spain, Respect Seniors and FATEC have been consulted on their experience of the pandemic by special Parliamentary Commissions in charge of investigating the management of the crisis.
- In Sweden, SPF Seniorerna calls for older people over 80 to be consulted in surveys about COVID-19. With PRO Svergie they ask municipalities to listen to older people receiving care and invest in care staff.
In a press release, SPF Seniorerna's president Eva Eriksson welcomes the change in the recommendations for people aged 70 years and older, which will now follow the general recommendations. She calls on everyone to take one's responsibility and act wisely.
- In France, Old'Up refuses a confinement for older people only; and the association AD-PA calls for better support for home carers.
Regarding the vaccination campaign in France, the lack of legal protection for residents with cognitive impairments - who make up between 40% to 60% of all EHPAD residents in France - is likely to be an issue. According to AGE French member organisations, the delays in providing legal protection (guardianship) for people that need it both at home or in care institutions will make it complicated to collect their consent by early 2021.
- In Greece and Slovenia, 50+ Hellas and ZDUS promote helplines to avoid isolation and support mental health.
- In Germany, BAGSO denounces the restrictions on visits and confinement of residents in care institutions as a breach of the German constitution. This follows the conclusion of the constitutional law expert Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Hufen. The German senior organisation calls to protect older people from disproportionate interference with their basic rights and for involving representatives of care home residents in the concrete design of the regulation.
- In Spain, CEOMA shares the call of the disability organisation CERMI who regards the denial of health care to older people with disabilities in the pandemic as a "failure to provide relief".