Older People and the Right to Freedom from Suffering
2013 December 23
Tamar Ezer and Kiera Hepford, writing from the Open Society Foundations say that the human rights system has long ignored the plight of older people in the face of widespread abuse, including:
- exclusion from economic opportunities and denial of social benefits, condemning millions to poverty;
- deprivation of decision-making authority over medical care, personal finances, and property;
- inheritance laws forcing widows off their land and allowing relatives to seize their property;
- unavailability of needed health services by trained professionals, and mistreatment and denial for being too old;
- violence in institutional and long-term care facilities, and even in their own homes.
Just look around you and you can see all these problems right in front of you. Fortunately, palliative care organizations, by and large, have included care of the elderly as part of their mandate.