Many older people in care homes fell victim to COVID-19. Many also faced months of isolation and restrictions often harsher than those enforced for other parts of the population. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) looks at how the pandemic affected the rights of older people. It highlights the need for a rights-based approach as governments shape their exit strategies.
“Everyone has the same rights, no matter how old they are,” stressed FRA director, Michael O’Flaherty. “As we transition to the ‘new normal’, governments must pay special attention to the needs of older people and ensure they are treated equally. Only then, will older people be able to regain their lives in dignity and respect.”
FRA’s third Coronavirus pandemic in the EU: fundamental rights implications looks at the measures EU Member States took to address the pandemic between 1 May – 31 May 2020. This edition focuses on the impact on older people.
While governments aim to protect the most vulnerable in our societies, some COVID-19 measures raise concerns about the rights of older people:
EU countries need better data to understand how the pandemic affected older people to help them make evidence-based decisions for the future.
As our societies reopen, governments should take care of the needs of older people as the passage to the ‘new normal’ will likely be slower and more difficult for them.
The bulletin also looks at other fundamental rights implications of government measures to fight the pandemic:
FRA will continue to monitor the situation and publish regular updates, drawing on evidence collected across all EU countries.