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The Human Rights of Older People during Covid-19: Social Wellbeing and Access to Care and Support for Older People in the United Kingdom

Wyllie, Aaron (2020) 'The Human Rights of Older People during Covid-19: Social Wellbeing and Access to Care and Support for Older People in the United Kingdom.' In: Ferstman, Carla and Fagan, Andrew, (eds.) Covid-19, Law and Human Rights : Essex Dialogues. A Project of the School of Law and Human Rights Centre. University of Essex, 197 - 203. ISBN 978-1-5272-6632-2

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Abstract

To date, the vast majority of Covid-19 deaths have been those over the age of 65. The vulnerability of older people to the impacts of Covid-19 were recognised early and have featured prominently in policy discussions and decision-making of governments around the world. While the risks posed by Covid-19 to the health and wellbeing of older people are significant, the impact of policies introduced in response to the public health crisis raise several critical human rights issues. This article addresses two broad areas of concern regarding the rights of older people which have emerged in the United Kingdom as a consequence of Covid-19. Firstly, this article discusses the risks posed by the suspension of several Local Authority duties under the Care Act, and proposes amendments aimed at ensuring the rights of people in need of care and support are maintained during this period. Secondly, the social wellbeing of older people is discussed with reference to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which establishes the right to respect for private and family life. For older adults living the in the community, it is argued that Article 8 imposes a positive obligation on Local Authorities to identify and support those older adults experiencing significant isolation or loneliness as a consequence of measures introduced in response Covid-19. In care home environments, Article 8 is considered with reference to the suspension of care home visitation rights, which is argued to be a disproportional and overly restrictive measure which imperils the rights and social wellbeing of older people.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2020 12:54
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 14:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28042

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