Brussels, 14 June 2012
International Day against Elder Abuse
Stop elder abuse:
AGE calls for an EU quality framework for long-term care to support the wellbeing and dignity of older people
“With the ageing of the population and the major social and economic reforms this demographic change will entail, finding ways of preventing elder abuse and ensuring a dignified life in old age will be a major challenge across the EU and needs be at the core of the current EU active and healthy ageing policies”, highlights Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary-General, on the eve of the International Day against Elder Abuse on 15 June.
In the last few years, the issue of abuse and negligence against vulnerable older people has gained importance at European and national levels. Public authorities, policy makers, care providers and end users’ organisations are now aware that elder abuse and neglect is a serious infringement to human rights that can no longer be tolerated, and measures must be put in place to ensure that older persons are adequately protected and can enjoy a dignified old age even when they become dependent on others for care and assistance.
We all know cases of older people abused and neglected, and these poor practices can be found in all EU countries and in all care settings, at home, in the community or in institutions. Some of these cases are examples of intentional abuse and neglect but the vast majority of them reflect justunintentional ‘bad care’ which affect the wellbeing and dignity of older vulnerable persons. However, many positive experiences and (real) success stories exist as well across Europe. Most of the time, carers – both formal and informal – are very devoted and go out of their way to provide the best care they can to the older person in need of assistance.
In our view the best way to prevent ‘bad care’ and elder abuse is by improving the quality of care and support we provide to older people in need of care and assistance. As part of the EU funded WeDO project, AGE and a group of partners from 12 countries, are developing a European Quality Framework for Long-Term Care which includes quality principles and recommendations for the implementation of these principles which are based on the European Charter of Rights and Responsibilities of older people in need of long-term care and assistance, developed in 2010. The European Quality Framework for Long-term care will be presented at the European Parliament in Brussels on 14 November 2012.