[Text on screen]: Millions of older people suffer human rights violations every year...including job discrimination, neglect and physical abuse.

How human rights protect older people.

Older people now make up almost ⅕ of the UK’s population.

Like all of us, their rights are protected by The European Convention on Human Rights.

But over 500,000 elderly people are abused in the UK every year.

Some cases of elder abuse in healthcare even result in death.

Between 2005 and 2008, older patients at Mid Stafford Hospital were subject to extreme abuse.

Left without food or medication for extended periods...even left to sit in faeces or urine for hours at a time.

The European Convention on Human Rights protects:

- our right to dignity
- our right to not be discriminated against
- and our right to life

Meaning nobody can be refused healthcare because of their age...and occupants of care homes must be treated with dignity and respect.

Around 40,000 ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders are placed on dying patients each year...naturally, many of these are elderly.

Thanks to various human rights judgements, patients must now be properly consulted before a DNR order is applied.

Article 8 of the ECHR protects our right to family and private life…including being involved in decisions relating to life-saving healthcare.

The UN’s Principles for Older Persons also sets out certain human rights for the elderly, including:

- Independence: access to food, shelter and income
- Care: access to institutional and health care
- Dignity: freedom from exploitation and abuse

Older people are among the most vulnerable in our society. They often rely on others for even their most basic needs. We need to make sure those needs are met by fighting for their rights.

Older People and Human Rights

Published on 29 Nov 2019

Human rights ensure everyone is treated with dignity and respect, and that’s vitally important for older people too. With almost a fifth of the UK’s population consisting of over 65’s, human rights ensures that older people are able to enjoy their life free from discrimination and abuse. Find out how from this video.


EachOther is a UK-focused charity that uses independent journalism, story-telling and film-making to put the human into human rights. The digital content we produce is grounded in the lived experience of ordinary people affected by human rights issues. We involve them in the process of developing their stories, rather than talking for or over them. Theirs are the voices we platform and amplify to our lay audience of over a million viewers each year. In this way, we hope to grow public support for human rights here in the UK.

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