On February 19, the French government appointed a commission to prevent abuse and/ or neglect of the elderly and disabled individuals, in coordination with the law enacted on aging, effective since January 1, 2016.
This commission is tasked with “promoting correct treatment, fighting against abuse, making suggestions concerning the risks of abuse or neglect, whether in the individual’s home or in institutions”.
Abuse of the elderly can be either physical or moral and is mainly due to staff shortages in the (“EPHAD”) nursing homes. Pascal Champvert, President of the Association of Directors for Serving the Elderly (“AD-PA”) denounces this as an “enormous” problem and adds “we need a strong commitment from the President on ageing, and discrimination against the elderly, which constitutes the primary abuse.
Much abuse occurs at home, sometimes by the families themselves who don’t have enough support, and become exhausted. “With too little home-based staff, we end up delegating to spouses or children who also become worn out. They themselves are being abused and mistreated, and unintentionally, they also abuse and mistreat others, “says Pascal Champvert.
This measure comes in response to the protest movement by the “EHPAD” nursing home professionals, which has been gaining momentum over the past several months. After the nationwide strike held on January 30th, another protest is scheduled for March 15.