On the 28th of January EUD followed a joint hearing on “Consequences and lessons from the COVID-19 crisis for people living in residential institutions: a social and human rights perspective” organised by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) and Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) committees.
During the hearing Members of the European Parliament and representatives from the European Commission and other experts highlighted that during the Covid-19 pandemic the elderly and persons with disabilities have been the most affected groups, and those living in residential institutions have massively suffered from social exclusion, isolation and loneliness, degraded quality of care, even neglect and abuses.
Joanna Goodey, Head of the Research and Data Unit, EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) presented the report published by FRA which examines aspects of the pandemic’s impact on older people. The report highlights that COVID-19 and the measures adopted to contain it continued to severely affect the fundamental rights of particular groups, such as persons with disabilities. Continuing lockdown restrictions also had an impact on domestic violence. The situation for persons with disabilities gave particular cause for concern, with evidence emerging of high numbers of deaths in residential settings. Evidence indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect the provision of essential services such as education, healthcare, community-based support and transport for persons with disabilities. Mrs Goodey concluded that the protection of the elderly with disabilities in institutional settings must be prioritised, systematic tastings should be carried out and access to protection equipment and quality health services must be guaranteed. You can find the full report here.
Moreover, Dubravka Šuica, Vice-President of the European Commission who presented that to address the issues faced by elderly in the EU the European Commission has opened a public consultation on the Green Paper on Ageing which will set out the key issues related to ageing and discuss possible ways to anticipate and respond to the socioeconomic impacts of Europe’s ageing population.
EUD encourages the National Associations of the Deaf to answer the public consultation in their language, highlight perspectives of deaf elderly to ensure that the Green Paper on Ageing in inclusive and leaves no one behind.