A new report from the UK, the Human Rights of Older People in Healthcare, has recently put forth new information regarding abuse of the elderly, specifically in nursing homes and other types of care facilities and hospitals. Politicians on the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights have announced that legal and cultural changes must be made in the UK in order to prevent further abuse. The study found that a startling amount of older people in care homes and hospitals experienced abuse, sexual abuse and assault, physical and verbal abuse, dehydration, malnutrition and neglect. Over a fifth (21%) of long term care facilities were found to be failing to meet minimum standards of privacy and dignity. It was strongly suggested that healthcare staff receive regular and targeted training in human rights and its application in long term care and assistance. Unfortunately, even proper general job training in these facilities regarding simple policies and procedures is scarce. Also suggested is an integration of inspection, regulation and complaints processes for elderly health and social care along with an overall national strategy to improve services for dementia patients and the elderly population. The importance of this study is difficult to exaggerate. The Department of Health now has a platform to work off of and will be strongly encouraged to act based on the claims of the report.
Click here to read the report