COVID-19 and residential care facilities: issues and concerns identified by the international network prevention of elder abuse

Marie Beaulieu, Julien Cadieux Genesse, Kevin St-Martin

The Journal of Adult Protection

Publication date: 13 November 2020



The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the physical, psychological, social and financial health of older persons. On this subject, the United Nations published a policy brief on the impact of COVID-19 on older persons in May 2020. In line with this, the purpose of this general review is to address three issues affecting older persons living in residential care facilities: protective measures implemented to block the virus’ entry, the types of mistreatment most frequently experienced and the necessity to promote and defend the rights of these persons.


The design of this study is based on input gathered since the end of April during meetings of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and the results of a July survey of its members.


The survey results indicate variability in the implementation of protective measures in different countries and the significant presence of mistreatment and violation of the rights of older persons. Three major issues demand attention: ageism, systemic and managerial problems and the effects of implemented measures. All these prompt the INPEA to once again plea for the adoption of an international convention of human rights of older persons.

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