OLDER PEOPLES RIGHTS
STAFF PREPARING FOR FIRST EVER TELELPHONE ANNUAL PARLIAMENT MEETING
RIGHT TO VISIT
Delegates attending the Telephone Annual Parliament Meeting (TAPM) of the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament today were concerned about many issues affecting them and their families.
There was concern about the fact that no increase in the basic State Pension for the 2nd year in a row. The state of the Health Service was also a major issue with many feeling that there is some promise of alleviation or to use another phrase “Light at the end of the tunnel” with the news that a vaccine is showing great promise and maybe available soon.
However, the issue that was most poignant and distressing for those attending was the situation with regard to Older People in Nursing Homes and the fact that they are denied the right to have a visitor except through a window.
This is a key issue for Older People living in Nursing Homes and their families, according to CEO Mairead Hayes. Speaking after the meeting, she commented ‘Older people have been particularly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and none more so than those living in Nursing Homes. We believe there is a need to revisit this and seek to create a less harsh regime.
She said at the Parliament’s first TAMP, delegates spoke of the fact that Nursing Homes are just that, HOMES to the many older people who live there and are not INSTITUTIONS.
When a person enters a HOME they do not surrender their RIGHTS.
The contention is that socialisation and family contact and succour is a Right and must be given to older people and their families.
In particular, people felt strongly about the system of outside visiting and in some cases having to stand in the rain to see their family member. One member spoke of the distressing experience for some families, ‘watching loved ones die through a window’.
It is time to ensure that this matter is addressed as a matter of urgency. The Voice of Older people must be taken account of in this matter.