Globally, COVID-19 has led to debilitating effects and posed significant human rights challenges for older persons. Healthcare measures and societal responses to COVID-19 have impacted older persons mental and physical wellbeing, amplified ageism, and heightened the risks of elder abuse. In this report, we present insights into the impacts of the pandemic across 16 countries in the ILC-Global Alliance and consider policy and practice.

Pandemic measures that were meant to physically safeguard older persons have in turn created human rights challenges for them. The initial stringent lockdowns in the community and no visitations imposed in nursing homes have negative impacts on institutionalised and community-dwelling older persons.

Many older persons were socially isolated which aggravated their mental health and quality of life and accelerated their functional decline during the pandemic. Additionally, the pandemic has impacted socioeconomic conditions. Older persons across the world, particularly those residing in developing nations, are subjected to greater hardships as they suffer from starvation and experience a slew of human rights issues ranging from age discrimination to elder abuse. Older persons will need additional help.

COVID-19 may have taken our attention, but now it is time to double down on our efforts to promote ways in which older persons can remain strong and age well, and to rebuild and strengthen the social and physical supports that can enable them to have the best possible quality of life.

In this report, we provide insights to the impacts of the pandemic across 16 countries in the ILC-Global Alliance. In part 3 and 4 of the report, we lay out the chronological order since the inception of the pandemic and presented epidemiological data on each of the 16 countries. Parts 5 and 6 explore the health, mental health, and socioeconomic impact on older persons. In parts 8 through 12, we discuss elder abuse, ageism, and COVID-19 vaccinations and identified strategies for high-risk populations and disadvantaged groups and measures of continued services for older persons. In the final part, we discuss how the world can move from COVID-19 to a decade of healthy ageing.

Please contact Susana Concordo with any queries

Download Protecting the human rights of older persons: Challenges to the human rights of older people during and after COVID-19.   |   Get the free reader