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IFA/GAROP Webinar on Long Term and Palliative Care in Older Age

The IFA is continuing its partnership with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People (GAROP), to present a second webinar on global issues facing older people, related to the work being conducted by the UN Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing (OEWG). The focus of the second GAROP/IFA webinar was on the right to access to Long Term and Palliative Care in Older Age.  Moderated by Mr Ken Bluestone (co-chair of GAROP), the webinar was a panel discussion with Ms. Bethany Brown (Human Rights Watch) and Dr. Atiqur Rahman (Bangladesh Association for the Aged and Institute of Geriatric Medicine, BAAIGM), on older people’s right to long term ad palliative care, one of the themes of the coming session of OEWG on Aging.

Speaking about the situation worldwide, Ms. Brown explained how necessary it is to guarantee the rights of older people with a legal framework.  Many of the Universal Human Rights are overlooked for older persons, even though they have been recognized for decades, and should be applied without discrimination on the basis of age. These rights are specifically applied to the matter of palliative and long term care with the right to non-discrimination in the way older people can access long-term care, the right to an adequate standard of living, and to health.

Following Ms. Brown, Dr. Rahman focused on the situation in Bangladesh, where the rapid ageing of population presents challenges for access to palliative and long term care.  According to Dr. Rahman, there are not enough experts in geriatric medicine, or focused hospital clinics. The BAAIGM reacts to this problem by providing healthcare and encouraging providers to take ageing seriously. He agreed that the rights of older people have to be protected through a legal framework.  Particularly an increase in female employment is creating a lack of availability of family caregivers. Therefore, Dr. Rahman argued, the government should compensate this need for services and take action to guarantee the rights of older adults.

These issues will be addressed at the 9th session of the UN OEWG on Aging, as well as the subject of dementia, which is a major factor of long term and palliative care.  The main objective remains to bring together older persons, experts and government representatives to move towards a new UN Convention on the Rights of Older People.

To listen to a recording of the webinar, click here.

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