Elderly Abuse

“Multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination experienced by older persons are exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic and aggravate their vulnerabilities.”

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)

Our response to COVID-19 must respect the rights and dignity of older people.

  • First, no person, young or old, is expendable. Older people have the same rights to life and health as everyone else.
  • Second, while physical distancing is crucial, let’s not forget we are one community and we all belong to each other.
  • Third, all social, economic and humanitarian responses must take the needs of older people fully into account, from universal health coverage to social protection, decent work and pensions.
  • And fourth, let’s not treat older people as invisible or powerless.

 – António Guterres, The UN Secretary-General,

Video message to launch policy brief on older persons New York, 1 May 2020

Types of Abuse:

  1. Physical Abuse
  2. Sexual Abuse
  3. Psychological Abuse
  4. Financial Abuse
  5. Neglect

Prevention

  • Formulate new policies for protection and care for the elderly
  • There is urgent need to establish a National Center for Prevention of Elder Abuse that would maintain time series information on elder abuse cases in Nepal
  • It is high time that a national program be implemented to build awareness on elder abuse focusing on media personnel, police, and the judiciaries.
  • Improvement and provisions in health care system exclusively for the elders (separate units/room/things)
  • Advocacy, lobbying, campaigning to sensitise the issue of elderly people
  • Detail surveys should be made to generate sufficient information that could provide a reliable basis for understanding general characteristics and magnitude of elder abuse in Nepal

Key Facts

  • Around 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse, a figure higher than previously estimated and predicted to rise as populations age worldwide
  • Rates of abuse may be higher for older people living in institutions than in the community
  • Elder abuse can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences
  • Elder abuse is predicted to increase as many countries are experiencing rapidly ageing populations
  • The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050

https://www.un.org/en/events/elderabuse/

Click here to view our session on World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day 15 June 2020