An online seminar on “Neglect and Abuse of the Elderly” was organised on 15 December 2022, by the Asssociation of Elderly Rights and Mental Health in cooperation with the 65+ Elderly Rights Association in Turkey. Some 80 people attended the seminar which was presented by 65+ Elderly Rights Association board member and lawyer Nazan Moroğlu. The activity was organised under the Elderly Rights Movement Project, funded by the European Union under the Cypriot Civil Society at Work VII grant scheme.
Starting her presentation with the statement “Elderly rights are human rights; neglect and abuse of the elderly is a volation of human rights”, Ms Moroğlu touched on the historical process and development of the studies on the rights of the elderly and neglect and abuse. She said that the rights of the elderly were talked about in the 1980s and 90s in the world, while discussion of neglect and abuse only began in the 2000s and the process continued with slow progress compared to other issues.
She also talked about the physical, psychological and financial abuse and discrimination that the elderly are exposed to, and mentioned that being both old and female increases this discrimination as the female elderly suffer much more abuse. In article no. 27 of the General Recommendations published by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in 2010, Moroğlu pointed out, it was highly recommended that elderly women be informed about their rights and access to legal services, and not to discriminate against women in the retirement age in applications in the public and private sectors.
Mentioning the “Regulation on Private Nursing Homes and Nursing Homes Elderly Care Centers” published in Turkey in 2008, Moroğlu stated that tax and VAT exemption is applied to those who will open nursing and care homes in Turkey.
Comparisons were drawn between Turkey and the northern part of Cyprus in a question and answer session, in which participants vry actively took part.
Elderly villages, the problems of finding caregivers in both Turkey and the northern part of Cyprus, the importance of efforts to increase local employment, home care services, care insurance, and the importance of health policies were discussed.
Additionally, examples of local bodies’ services for the elderly in both regions were shared.
Mentioning that the services for the elderly in Turkey are under a General Directorate under the Ministry of Family and Social Services, Moroğlu’s suggestion to establish a “Ministry for the Elderly” attracted the attention of the participants.