Leaders from around the world have expressed their concern about the effects of the pandemic on older people, communities and society. They have also called for a response that addresses the needs and rights of older people.
António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General highlighted that “our response to COVID-19 must respect the rights and dignity of older people”. He had four main messages when he launched a recent policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 and older people. These were:
- “No person, young or older, is expendable. Older people have the same rights to life and death as everyone else. Difficult decisions around life-saving medical care must respect the human rights and dignity of all.
- We need improved social support and smarter efforts to reach older people.
- All social, economic and humanitarian responses must take the needs of older people fully into account, particularly women who are more likely to live in poverty and without access to healthcare in older age.
- Let’s not treat older people as invisible or powerless. Their voices and leadership count.”