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Rights of Older Persons in Daily Specialized Facilities violated, Ombudsman says

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 6
For the first time, the Public Defender's Office conducted large-scale monitoring and issued a special report on the State of Rights of Older Persons in Daily Specialized Facilities.

According to Ombudsman Ucha Nanuashvili, there were “a wide-range of problems” detected in the facilities.

Concerning the issue, Nanuahsvili has held a special presentation of the monitoring report of the Department of Rights of Persons with Disabilities of the Public Defender's Office and the National Preventive Mechanism about the state of rights of older persons in daily specialized facilities.

At the event, the Public Defender discussed the violations revealed in Tbilisi and Kutaisi retirement homes as well as in five facilities serving older persons.

"Non-adapted environments, poverty, ill-treatment of beneficiaries, violence, a lack of personnel and low qualifications, a deficit in medications, a lack of information about available services are just part of the problems that allow us to describe the situation in the boarding houses as utterly degrading.

“The current situation creates the risk of the complete isolation of beneficiaries; the most worrisome fact is that no inspection has been carried out in these facilities,” said Ucha Nanuashvili.

The Public Defender has appealed to the relevant authorities with recommendations to properly ensure the protection of elderly peoples' rights under state care and to eradicate the existing shortcomings.

The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs. They confirmed the prevalence of problems in the system, but added that they could not solve them alone, and that consolidated efforts of the government were required.

Representatives of Parliament’s Committee of Health and Social Affairs, the Committee of Human Rights and Civil Integration, the Social Service Agency, the State Fund for Assistance and Protection of Trafficking Victims, the organizations working on the rights of older people as well as the monitored boarding houses were invited to the event.

A discussion following the presentation focused on how to solve the problems and the necessity of developing a unified approach.