Addressing Mistreatment of Older Adults from a Human Rights’ Perspective

On the occasion of the Human Rights Week, ICRH Belgium invited Prof. Marie Beaulieu from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, to give a lecture on “Addressing Mistreatment of Older Adults from a Human Rights’ Perspective”.
Prof. Beaulieu is an authority in the field of elder abuse and neglect. Since November 2010, she has held the position of Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults financed by the Québec Government. Since July 2017, she is co-directing a centre affiliated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on age-friendly communities and countering mistreatment. The principal focus of her 30-year career has been countering mistreatment, the sense of security of older adults, ethics, aging and end-of-life care.

The attendees could enjoy a thought provoking lecture in which Prof. Beaulieu gave an overview of the evolutions in de field of elder abuse and neglect in the past decades, with special attention to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). She stressed the importance of a paradigm shift in the way we look at older adults. She invited everyone to look at older adults as persons with rights instead of persons with needs.
To end she quoted Simone de Beauvoir: “The way a society behaves with its seniors reveals, without any ambiguity, the truth of its principles and of its means”. Something to keep in mind when designing SRHR research, policies and health care practices.